What Is an Employee Screening Program (ESP)

employee screeningEvery employer has some kind of employee screening process. It's not too often that people are hired without an application or interview. These screening processes are a very simple an accepted way to find out in the candidate is qualified for the company and position. But what if the interview and application is not enough? Does the position require a professional license or someone trusted to visit a client's home? If so, then the employer needs to consider additional screening methods to protect their business and brand.

Unfortunately there is no standard employee screening process. The methods used will depend on the unique business and regulatory needs. Some businesses might have drivers and therefore will require a DMV record check and drug testing. While other businesses need employee with an advanced degree. In these cases, the applicant's educational history needs to be verified. Since there is no standard, businesses need to investigate the position and find out what the specific needs are. Once the needs are identified, the screening method can be designed.

A very common screening is a collection of reports that constitute a background check. There is also no definite background check report, but instead a collection of reports that investigate one's background past. Many employers opt for standard criminal, verification, database, and exclusion searches. Each category has a variety of sources, methods, and purpose.

In the United States, most criminal cases are tried at the local county level. Unless a federal crime was committed, there is no official national criminal record. The researcher must review individual county and state court records. The federal government has their own federal criminal record that will contain information relating to white collar crimes, kidnapping, terrorism, and other federal crimes. The state and county will report on theft, murder, assault, and other everyday crimes.

A verification report is just that, it verifies information. This is used many times to verify a reference, previous job positions, educational history, and professional license records. Without verifying a resume, there is no way to know if the positions and skills presented are the truth. In addition, if the position requires specific skills and talents, then educational and license verification is crucial.

Database searches are popular due to the quick results. When researching a criminal record or verifying information, there is a delay as to when the results are available. Some counties can take up 1 week to respond to a record request. Certain screening companies regularly compile databases of varies reports such as the sex offender registry, civil records, and certain criminal records. Unfortunately, these records are not always up-to-date or complete. Many database results are not FCRA compliant due to their distance from the source.

Exclusion searches are very industry and location specific. The federal government and many state governments maintain a list of individuals and companies who are not allowed to partake in government contracts. This means that businesses who do want a government contract must check all their employees against the relevant exclusion list. The most popular exclusion lists are related to healthcare, and checking it is required for any company accepting Medicare and/or Medicaid patients. Depending on the contract, this check must be done on a monthly basis.

Second to background check reporting, the next popular screening tool is the pre-employment drug test. There are many reasons for drug testing employees before hiring and throughout their employment term. Just like some businesses must perform the exclusion check due to their industry, some businesses also must maintain a drug free workplace. This can be due to a government contract or private contact with that requirement.

Drug testing can be done through the urine, hair, saliva, blood, and sweat. Due to costs and practicality, urine drug testing is the most commonly used method. When establishing such a policy, the employer must decide on which drugs to test for. Again, this depends on the business need. A screening company should be able to present different panel options and recommend the best combination for the business. The popular 5 panel drug test tests for: marijuana, cocaine, opiates, amphetamine, and phencyclidine.

There are many other screening methods including aptitude tests, reputation investigation, social media investigations, and more. Background checks and drug testing is a good starting point for almost any business. Before starting such an advanced screening program, always speak with a lawyer and hire a professional screening company able to perform the required work.

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