6 Simple Steps to Conduct Pre-Employment Screening

6 Simple Steps to Conduct Pre-Employment Screening

Conducting pre-employment screening makes hiring the perfect employee a less complicated process.

Hiring the right employee for the appropriate job is one of the most important challenges an employer has to deal with. It’s grown to be even more difficult, thanks to the increasingly mobile workforce and social media. Gone are the days when employers solely relied on the interview process to make their hiring decisions. Businesses today can get the assistance they need through pre-employment screening.

Why It’s So Important

Employers who use pre-employment screening as part of their hiring process are well aware of the important benefits. One of the most significant advantages is an overall improvement in the quality of candidates. This leads to far better employees, which means higher productivity and a decrease in employee turnover. Businesses that employ workers for direct service to the public are held responsible if an employee that has a criminal history does harm to another employee or a customer. Pre-employment screening helps uncover critical information about a candidate including any potential risks posed by them.

Following are 6 Simple Pre-Employment Screening Steps

  1. Background Checks 

A background check is the most common pre-employment screening process.  It looks up an applicant’s personal, criminal, financial and professional records. It is typically utilized by employers, law enforcement, schools and non-profit organizations.

  1. Pre-Employment Drug Screening

Employers use drug testing via urine tests to proactively protect the company from the negative effects of employing people with drug related issues.  Drug screening is required for federally-regulated employers that hire individuals for safety-sensitive jobs. Active drug testing programs can help ensure that the workplace is drug-free.

  1. Medical Pre-Employment Screening

The purpose of the pre-employment medical examination is to determine if a potential candidate is fit for a job that can affect public safety, and is not a risk to themselves or others.

  1. Personality Testing

Personality tests assess the applicant’s personality, cognitive ability, current and potential skills and other traits. This information can help employers find the best employees for the job and weed out potential problem hires.

  1. Credit Checks

This screening step checks out the 7-year financial history of the candidate and includes public records, collection accounts, bankruptcies, charge-offs, judgements, trade lines, monthly payment histories and more. Credit checks look at the payment history on mortgages, student and car loans and credit card accounts, uncovering habits that include living beyond their means and possession of large debts with no apparent means of repayment. These are all indications of financial irresponsibility that could impact the work environment. Pre-employment credit screening does not include the credit score.

  1. Social Media Pre-Employment Screening

Today, gaining insights into a potential employee’s character can be obtained via their social media accounts. Employers often use platforms like Facebook and Twitter, looking for insights regarding personality traits, alcohol or drug abuse, or any other characteristics that could influence their hiring decision. Using social media to screen potential employees can also get an employer in legal trouble, so it’s best to consult a lawyer first.

The long-term benefits of pre-employment screening far outweigh the costs, including the quality of the employee, work productivity, and improved customer satisfaction.

Conducting pre-employment screening doesn’t have to be hard. Contact us today for more information on how to proceed!

When to Stop Outsourcing and Hire Instead

In my last post I shared the pros and cons of outsourcing. But how do you know when to stop outsourcing and hire instead? Small business owners who are on the path to success know that they can’t do everything by themselves. Hiring employees could mean the difference between stagnation and growth. The three reasons why you should consider hiring an employee instead of outsourcing are below.stop outsourcing


When you outsource your work to a contractor or freelancer, you end up competing against other clients for their time. Something that you need done right away could end up taking weeks if the contractor has other projects ahead of yours.

On the other hand, employees are committed to your company for the time that you’re paying them. You manage their priorities as it relates to their work assignments. Your highest priority work will be done in the order that you see fit.


Small business owners generally compete on quality more than they compete on price. Therefore, outsourcing to a contractor can be risky. Contractors don’t have a stake in your business and are often looking to complete the job as quickly and efficiently as possible. They may also provide lower quality workmanship if they believe that you’re not going to extend the contract term.

As you consider hiring employees, it’s important to understand the tasks that they’ll be responsible for. Assess their ability to complete the tasks in an efficient way and maintain the level of quality that your customers are used to.


Outsourcing sometimes puts your company at risk, especially if you need to provide classified or sensitive items to the contractor as part of the project. Although it’s easy to forget, information is still stored somewhere in the brain and you don’t want the contractor to recall your sensitive information when they’re working for your competitor.

Stop Outsourcing

You should have enough work to keep your employees busy for the hours you’re your paying them. Otherwise, they’ll become complacent and may end up using work time to run personal errands, come in late or leave early.

Giving employees meaningful work that keeps them busy is not only rewarding for you, but it provides the sense of contribution to the success of your business. It gives them a chance to celebrate the wins and at the same time feel confident in their own abilities to accomplish great things.

Getting the Right People on Your Bus: Good to Great: A DLB Consulting Book Study

Right PeopleIt’s important to first get the right people on the bus before you decide where to take it. The good-to-great leaders began the transformation by first getting the right people on the bus  and then focusing on where to go.  In good-to-great companies, the “who” questions come before the “what” decisions. They come before vision, strategy, organization structure, and tactics. This ensures that the company can be more agile and change directions if strategy indicates it’s the right thing to do.

Hiring the Right People

The right employees are your most precious asset. Without them, you don’t have a great company. Finding the right employee has more to do with character traits and  capabilities than with specific knowledge, background, or skills. As you grow your business you’ll find that hiring becomes a necessity in order to move to the next level.  You and your existing employees may feel the pain of doing more than a normal workload, which might encourage you to hire the first capable person. Stop there. Remember, the right person is more important to have than someone who can simply do the job. If you’re unable to attract the right people, you’ll need to review your culture, benefits, and compensation packages. Otherwise, your growth will be limited by the ability to attract the right people.

Shifting Resources

Act quickly when you know you need to make a people change. The longer you let issues fester, the more damaging it can be to your business and culture. Before you fire an non-productive employee, be sure you don’t simply have them in the wrong seat. Look for other areas where this employee might shine.


Most companies put their best people on their biggest problems. The intent is to have a hero save the day. A downfall to this strategy occurs when you decide to sell off your unprofitable or problem business units. It’s possible that your best person could transfer with that sale. Additionally, it simply doesn’t make sense to have your best people focusing on the biggest problems when they could be using their brain power to further your biggest opportunities. It’s about priorities.


The idea that the specific structure of compensation acts as a key lever in taking a company from good to great is unwarranted. No such correlation exists in good-to-great companies. Yes, compensation and incentives are important, but for very different reasons. The purpose of a compensation system should be to get the right people on the bus in the first place, and to keep them there. Not to force the right behaviors from the wrong people.

Have you ever felt like you had the wrong people on the bus at your company? What did you do to get them in the right seat or off the bus?

12 Elements of a Good Hiring Strategy

In our last post we uncovered the mystery of a good marketing plan. We learned that every product or service has a life cycle. The life cycle is made up of four stages: introduction, growth, maturity, and the declining stage. By knowing which stage of the life cycle your product is in you can make educated decisions on when or where to spend your marketing dollars. As your business grows, it’s likely that you’ll need to hire a team to help you continue to grow. A good hiring strategy will not only save you time, but it will also save you money.

The process of interviewing and hiring the perfect candidate is not an easy task. It takes a lot of time and energy to proceed with the interview process. That’s why it’s important to ensure that you have a good hiring strategy in place. The right person will bring positive attitudes and infectious hard work to your business. When you find out that someone is a good fit before you hire them, you’ll save yourself thousands of dollars in lost productivity and opportunity.

Good Hiring Strategy

Image Credit: Jay from Cudahy.  Creative Commons License

12 Elements of a Good Hiring Strategy

There are 12 elements to a good hiring  strategy that Dave Ramsey writes about in Entreleadership. They are:

1. Pray—Ask God to send the person that should do the work that needs to get done.

2. Get Referrals—If you have a culture that we’ve been talking about in the last few posts, your best people will want their brightest friends to come work with them. Create a referral program to ensure that employees who refer great candidates are rewarded.

3. Pre-interview— Your first interview should be a 30 minute call to get to know the candidate. Spend 20 minutes listening and 10 minutes talking. Listen more than you talk, and keep the pre-interview to exactly 30 minutes. You can follow up later in another interview.

4. Review the Resume and Call References—Review the candidate’s resume for formal training that’s applicable to the position that you’re hiring for.  The resume is a great place to begin a conversation. Check references to be sure the candidates truly are who they say they are.

5. Use the DiSC Test—The discs personality test will assess relational intelligence, which is the ability to work well with others to achieve shared goals. The D stands for dominance. A dominant person will get work done, and is quick to act and make decisions. The I stands for influencer. Influencers are fun and outgoing, and are often concerned about their team members. The S stands for steady. Steady people are loyal, stable,  love people, and are concerned about how everyone feels. They are great as team players, understanding, and will be with you until the end. The C stands for compliant. Compliant employees are very analytical and factual. They may seem rigid, but they have a high level of competency. Your organization needs some of every personality in order to be successful.

6. Like the Candidate—If you’re going to be working everyday with the candidate, you need to like them. Don’t force yourself to work with people you don’t have anything in common with.

7. Look For Light—When you start talking about the position keep your eyes on the candidates. As the candidates start to talk, notice if their eyes light up. Does the mere thought of getting to do the work fire them up? If not, it’s likely that all they want is a paycheck, and you won’t be able to keep them happy.

8. Review Personal Mission Statement and Budget—Candidates should have a statement that shows how the position that they are accepting is part of their dream. They should also be able to pay their bills on the wage that they are making. Someone who can’t pay their bills will be constantly worried about them and consequently will be very stressed out. They will be a drain on your business.

9. Review Compensation—As you progress in your interviews you’ll go deeper into compensation and benefits. Candidates who start the interview process discussing money are  looking for a job. Not an opportunity to do work that matters. You want the candidate who cares about the work.

10. Write Down Key Results—Write down what winning looks like in the open position before you post it. It should clearly communicate what the position entails.

11. Interview the Candidate’s Spouse—Invite the candidate and the candidate’s spouse to dinner. During the dinner you can solicit the spouse’s input on whether or not they think their spouse is a good fit for the position. You can also assess whether or not the spouse is completely nuts. If that’s the case, you should probably stay away from the candidate.

12. Implement a Probation Period—Ensure that you have a probation period where both the candidate and your company has time to observe and ensure a true fit. At this point you have little obligation to any candidate, and they have little obligation to you. After ninety days, the candidate is truly a team member and you should take working with them very seriously.


Image Credit: Bill Strain. Creative Commons License

Implementing a  good hiring strategy will ensure you get the best candidate for your open position. How many people are you hiring this year?