How to Build an Effective Employment Screening Strategy


HR professionals and hiring managers have a challenging job. When it comes to hiring the right candidates for any position, the margin for error is minimal. Bad hires can happen to pretty much anyone, even the most seasoned hiring managers. Having stringent and detailed companywide recruitment strategies in place, however, can help you avoid making these types of mistakes in the future.

What Does Employment Screening Achieve?

Employment screening is mutually beneficial for your company and the prospective candidates you hope to hire. It can help both parties determine whether the work culture, the position, and the management style are a good fit with the prospective candidates’ skills, knowledge, and experience level.

Employment screening is also an excellent asset for established and new businesses alike because it can help hiring managers fine tune their recruitment strategies according to the specific requirements of the positions they need to fill. This process can also help you determine the type of employees you want to work for and represent your company as it continues to grow.

What Are the Types of Employment and Candidate Screening?

Identifying and implementing candidate screening best practices that work for your company should be done on an individual or role-specific level. What this means is that hiring managers and HR representatives need to take time to carefully assess the specific qualifications that are needed for the position that they want to fill as well as what each candidate brings to the table.

Some companies make the mistake of implementing a blanket hiring strategy or policy that’s supposed to cover every position and department throughout the organization. However, this is counterproductive to establishing a successful business. Each position in your company has unique requirements and skill sets that make it work and it’s imperative to recognize that when creating a solid hiring strategy and screening candidates.

Here are a few things you can do to ensure you’re hiring the right employees for each role in your company:

Perform Skill Tests

Skill tests can easily help you figure out which candidates are the most suitable for the job you’re offering. Some candidates embellish a little bit (or a lot) on their resumes and cover letters to land an interview with the company of their dreams. Assessing the skills that candidates claim to have can help you determine if they’re a good fit for the role. Whether it’s physical skill tests for jobs that require heavy lifting and exceptional organizational proficiency or if you need to test their knowledge of a certain subject, this is the perfect way to do it.

Checking References

Always make sure to check every candidate’s references. This is probably the most tedious part of the hiring process, but it can also be the most telling and important. Far too often, candidates with limited experience in a certain field tend to use personal contacts as their references in the hopes that this will help them land an interview.

And it can work very well for your new hires, but not necessarily for the company as a whole. You may soon realize that the candidates you’ve just taken on aren’t as qualified as they led you to believe. Make sure that the references provided are all credible businesses.

Conduct Complete Background Checks

Thorough background checks are just as important as checking candidates’ references because you want to make sure that there’s nothing incriminating in their past that could cause future controversy or embarrassment for your company. As much as you want to take a chance on people and hope for the best, at the same time it’s important to look out for the best interest of your business.

Applicants might not always be forthcoming about past criminal offenses, but by law they’re obligated to be truthful about felonies they’ve committed if asked on a job application. After that, it’s up to you as the employer to decide if it’s worth taking on the risk or if the past crime will in any way effect the candidate’s ability to perform the job.

Building an Effective Candidate Screening Strategy

Not only should you create a candidate screening strategy and policy that works for your entire company, but you should also consider the individual needs of each department and the roles that need to be filled in those departments. Policies can vary from one department to another within your company, but you have to make sure that they’re applicable and make the necessary updates over time. Listen to the concerns of your department heads when they tell you that it’s time to make changes to hiring or employee policies because no one knows how their department operates better than they do. Plus, this can help you build a strong rapport and trust with your employees.

Here are a few important tips to help you improve your employment screening strategies:

Uphold Consistency

All candidates applying for the same job should be held to the exact same standards regardless of their cultural background, religious affiliations, mental or physical capabilities, or skin colour. This may seem like a given, but many companies have been known to bend the rules under certain circumstances. While it’s important to be accommodating, flexible, and conscious of the different needs of your prospective employees, you also need to maintain a fair hiring process and promote equal opportunity for all candidates.

Guarantee That Your Policies Are Compliant with Federal and Municipal Laws

This is a big one because if you fail to ensure that your hiring policies are compliant with legal regulations, then you open yourself up to a lot of risk and potential lawsuits. Double and triple check hiring bylaws in your area and make sure that they’re well represented within your hiring process.

Tailor Recruitment Strategies to the Position

As mentioned, creating a singular blanket recruitment strategy for each position in your company doesn’t work. You need to hire candidates that have the individual skills, knowledge, and experience that each individual role in your company demands.

Obtain Informed Consent to All Terms and Conditions

Certain federal and municipal bylaws mandate that employers obtain the informed or written consent of candidates before performing background and reference checks. As the employer, you have the right to refuse to hire a candidate who doesn’t comply to a criminal background and reference check, but you must legally obtain permission to perform these acts.

Consult Expert Recruitment Agencies

If you need help with managing your hiring process and complying with all of the abovementioned items, then Resolve Recruit Inc. can help! As one of Canada’s leading recruitment agencies, we’ve helped hundreds of employers find the right candidates for their companies. Contact us today to learn more!