The seven stages of candidate screening
Mon, 10 Sept 2012 | Norman Mortell, director of operations, Agenda Security Services
Pre-employment screening has its place but it is prudent to challenge traditional thinking about screening, vetting and background checking of people with concerns over illegal workers, infiltration, theft, fraud, misrepresented qualifications, loss of information, intellectual property theft and fines for breaches of the Data Protection Act and other legal requirements.
1. Monitor the risk
What are the threats to your organisation? By understanding these risks and recognising where areas of your business have different risks it can help to formulate the overall security policy and requirements for prudent screening.
2. Staff training and awareness
Are staff security aware? Do staff understand the risks and help in identifying problems, whether it is theft or industrial espionage it can have a negative impact which can be mitigated by security aware staff.
3. Advertising and screening
Do your job adverts specify a full security screening is required? If not, this can be added to deter some undesirable candidates from applying.
4. Reviewing CVs and application forms
Do reviewers have training to spot red flags, gaps and other concerns? We all know CVs only tell us what the applicant wants us to know and so detailed reviews are important. Looking for red flags, anomalies and issues of concern in the CV and/or application form should be conducted to sift out undesirable candidates.
5. Screening at interview
Are interviewers trained in questioning, listening and body language skills? Having a person asking questions and another observing and making notes at the interview helps, but questions need to get to the core values of the person and should focus on any anomalies or concerns raised in the red flag analysis.
6. Pre-employment screening
Do you have different screening levels or only screen staff in high risk areas? Whatever you decide it is prudent to have policies that are also adhered to by third party staffing providers, staff need to understand confidentiality, Data Protection and seek consent of the candidates.
7 Post hire screening
Do you conduct any further checks after hiring? Even the best candidate can turn out to be a bad apple, most organisations conduct a probationary review but does this include checks on appropriate behaviour and compliance with key security policies? Most new employees will be bona fide but training supervisory staff to also review for performance and behavioural issues can reduce potential risks.
The cycle continues as we must continually review the risks and threats to the organisation, these change over time, for example, more unemployed graduates may lead to more qualification deception, in our screening processes we have seen misrepresented qualification rise from 1 in 20 to 1 in 16 in the last year.