What is Pre-employment Screening?

Hiring & recruitingPre-employment screening
January 20, 2023

An independent contractor is an individual who works under contract terms to carry out different tasks for a firm or business.

Contract workers, also known as freelancers and the, number increasing daily. These workers get paid piece by piece or will receive their payment when the job is done. Their fees are usually lower than employees, and they don’t receive benefits.

It is excellent to hire contract workers if you prefer them to be long-term employees. But suppose this is the case, and you are running a business. In that case, you must follow strict instructions, and you can treat them differently than employees.

Different Types of pre-employment screenings

Employers should be familiar with pre-employment tools and choose the best one according to the company’s goals and requirements. 

If chosen correctly, they can gather valuable and accurate data about the candidate and ensure they can handle their responsibilities.  

Some of these tests will evaluate the candidate’s personality, mental skills, and cognitive abilities to determine if they can meet the company’s expectations. Recruiters can choose different test questions based on the job industry.

Pre-employment assessment tests

  • Integrity tests

This test will discover your reliability by asking questions about ethics and the workplace. These questions include “Do you usually agree with your employer’s strategies?” or “Do you think it is acceptable to take a long lunch break sometimes?” 

  • Personality traits tests

Through this test, you can discover your personality characteristics. This test’s results can help employers decide if you are a good fit for the company culture, and some specific features can cause better performance in some roles. For example, people in the sales business tend to be more friendly and confident. Personality assessments test is an excellent choice to evaluate prospective employees with problem-solving skills.

  • Skills assessment tests

This test can evaluate your soft and hard skills. Soft skills tests include questions determining your capabilities for effective communication and problem-solving. A computer programmer test can involve questions about a coding language.

Skills assessment tests
  • Cognitive ability tests

A general aptitude test can evaluate a wide range of cognitive capabilities. Still, these tests usually assess critical thinking, attention to detail, or the ability to learn new information. 

  • Emotional intelligence test

Emotional intelligence tests determine an applicant’s ability to communicate and understand emotions. These are abilities that a future employee needs in many different positions.

  • Physical ability tests

If the job needs physical capabilities, it’s crucial to take physical tests from job candidates. It is essential to understand if a candidate has the physical requirements for managing the daily tasks that their job expects them to do. If Job applicants don’t take these tests, it can lead to workplace accidents and injuries.

Pre-employment Check

There is a pre-employment screening called a “background check.” This background check will verify your personal information and background.

A women doing pre-employment check for a new employee

Hiring managers can use screening to identify if an employer can take care of confidential or sensitive information and evaluate skills. Based on the job industry, employers can use these:

  • Tracking down Social Security numbers
    (SSNs) is used by employers to discover names, birth dates, and addresses related to that SSN. This search will help hr managers find more additional information.
  • Criminal history screening
    Checks an individual’s record in local, state, national, and federal areas and even international databases. Some criminal records screening might need your fingerprints.
  • Public record screening
    Can search for motor vehicle records, driving license history, credit report history, bankruptcy records, civil records, and even medical records.
  • Verifications and credentials screening
  • check the validity of your educational and degree background, previous job performance, professional licenses, and even military service records. 
  • A healthcare provider uses controlled substance screening.
    Through drug tests, ensure your job candidate follows the company’s policies regarding legal issues. 
  • Use lie detectors
    Companies that offer security services or produce and distribute controlled substances might use lie detectors or polygraph tests.

How to Conduct a Pre-employment Screening?

When conducting a pre-employment test, you should always consider how you want to handle the pre-employment assessment. Because if you make any mistake in checking someone’s background or test answers, it can lead to many complications.

For example, you should make sure you have checked all candidate’s tests and haven’t missed any resumes to protect yourself from facing biased accusations.

You should be able to conduct manual or online checks. When running a manual check, you should acquire the original versions of the documents, check the accuracy of records when the holder is available, and make a clear copy of the original documents.

For online checks, you should use the Home Office online system to ensure the job applicant’s photograph belongs to them, which means it shouldn’t be an imposter. Also, you should have a clear copy of the answers provided by the online right-to-work check.

Regarding criminal record checks, the job applicant can apply for a basic check directly to DBS by an online application route. Alternatively, an employer can also use an essential review on a person’s behalf by a responsible organization where they have their agreement. 

A person can only apply for a standard background check if a recruiting company is asking for it, which, in the next step, will be sent to DBS by a registered body. 

An employer should always inform the candidate about the job requirements mentioned in the cover letter regarding a medical check background. The employer should also gain their written consent before asking for a report from their GP.

Moreover, when an employer asks for references, the candidate should offer the names and contact details of the referee and permit the employer to contact those people or companies directly.

When employers contact the referee, they should ask for the candidate’s details, responsibilities in their previous jobs, disciplinary actions against them, or any other reasons implying the applicant shouldn’t be employed.

The benefits of conducting a pre-employment screening

Finding the best candidate for the job is significant but can also be frustrating. Technology is always a good idea, mainly when investing in hiring to find the best fit for your company.

Man doing pre-employment screening

Using pre-employment screening software to help employers in the recruitment process is a straightforward approach with many advantages that can collect sufficient data from job applicants.

There are many benefits to using pre-employment screening software, some of which are as below:

  • Effectiveness and productivity: When employers use pre-employment screening for hiring the best job applicant, they want to evaluate the applicant’s ability quickly.
  • Hiring with an open mind: Many studies prove that the test results can be very different when you have a database based on a candidate’s skill and potential. Screening software will help employers retain data representing different genders, experiences, and ethnicities.
  • Making a talent pool for the future: Thorough Pre-employment screening, hiring managers can save recruiters time and create a talent pool including qualified job applicants for any future hiring process. Therefore, the screening will be more reliable and productive.
  • Quick engagement: when you screen the applicants, you can make interviews faster and find the best fit based on the job description. Pre-employment screening is a tool that all employers should use, especially when they want to have new hires remotely through a virtual conference.
  • Effective results: The employer’s final goal is to find the best applicants whose skills and talents fit the vacant job best. With the help of screening software, the hiring process will move forward faster, and employers can find what they are looking for in a shorter time. Therefore, the company’s performance and success level will rise.

When should you conduct a pre-employment screening?

The Covid pandemic caused global chaos in the business world. This pandemic overturned HR strategies, and the hiring process changed from face-to-face interviews to online conferences. To hire the best candidate for the job, employers need a method for using pre-employment screening. 

Most employers are cautious in the hiring process, and they have every right to be. Pre-employment tools can help them evaluate and choose the best candidate. Poor hiring choices have high costs for the company and can affect the whole team’s performance. 

Employers need more than resumes to comprehend a candidate’s skills properly. Because of this inefficiency, pre-employment screening tools step in because these tools are fast and reliable in evaluating potential candidates. Hiring tools are very welcome in today’s virtual business world.

Virtual interviews are becoming more common over the last two years; therefore, employers must gather authentic information about the applicant’s capabilities.

This process can be more challenging because it is no longer face-to-face. Pre-employment screening can ease the process and help employers make correct decisions.

These tools are available online, and they can objectively design an outline of a candidate’s background.

The tests can save a company’s time and money next to evaluating candidates’ hard and soft skills, cognitive abilities, level of knowledge, personality, and situational judgment.

When we say the covid pandemic affects hiring decisions, we mean that traditional hiring processes are no longer sufficient.

We crossed the time when an employer could evaluate a candidate through body language because today’s digital tools can meet an employer’s expectations with less cost and time.

Why do employers need to do pre-employment screening?

Hiring reputable people is crucial, but why are pre-employment screening tools necessary, and why should employers use them? Let’s check out some reasons which back up the use of pre-employment screening.

  • Verify if the job candidate has enough qualifications. Unfortunately, some people make exaggerations their work backgrounds or education level. An employer might hire someone qualified if they can check their experience and necessary skills.
  • Use a character check- If someone makes even slight exaggerations in their background, it can be a red flag pointing to their dishonesty. Make sure your company only hire people with verified resumes and experience with 100 percent correct resume. 
  • Employers should keep the work environment safe- Protecting employees, customers, and the company’s reputation is vital. A background check can help a company avoid hiring unqualified or dangerous people. 
  • Decrease company’s responsibilities- A company can reduce insurance costs and prevent any unneeded lawsuits for the company. Employers can make this happen by hiring people who have transparent pre-employment screening results. 
  • Avoid bad hires- Hiring the wrong individuals can be costly and frustrating. Employers should use pre-employment screening before hiring anyone to prevent many complications and problems from happening in the future.

Tips for preparing for a pre-employment screening

  1. Practice beforehand and understand your strengths.

In pre-employment screening tests, there are many simple and complicated questions combined in the exam, and often you can gain the same number of points from these questions. If you practice before the test, you can identify easy and challenging questions. Practicing before a test can help you significantly because you can choose and answer the questions you are more familiar with, save time, and increase your test score. Job simulations can also be really helpful for some positions.

  1. Do your research. 

Before taking the test, you have to do your research. Many people think there is no way to prepare for pre-employment screening tests. But this is not true. Evaluation tests usually reuse the same format for the questions they use. If you review different questions, you can be one step ahead. You typically have a week between the exam notice and the day of the exam, which can give you time to practice.

  1. Run a background check on yourself.

If you run a background check on yourself, it can help you to discover which potential employers might check your background records. Depending on your profession, you should get your records from different resources. For example, suppose you want to apply for a job position as a driver. In that case, you should ask for your vehicle records to ensure your criminal records information and your previous employment data are accurate.

  1. Report inaccurate information.

Sometimes pre-employment screening can create false data if something was filled incorrectly by applicants. If you identify any inaccurate data in your screening, you should report it without hesitation to the relevant authorities. You can also inform your potential employer of false information in your screening and offer them proof of incorrect data. For example, if you use a common name, an employer might ask for a report that creates someone else’s information. To avoid this, verify your SSN, current address, your job history with the employer before they request a report.

  1. Notify your references.

An employer might reach out to your references. You should let your referees know they may receive a phone call or Email from the company. Giving your referees a heads-up can help them prepare for the conversation so they can accurately verify your job history. Send your referees the most updated resumes to have enough information for the discussion.

  1. Be honest.

If some information in your background can take you out of the hiring process, discuss it with the hiring manager and explain how you plan to work on those issues. It would be best if you were honest with your recruiter to show your credibility and prove that you are qualified.

  1. Review your social media.

Sometimes, employers might check out your social media accounts during the hiring process. Therefore, review your social media accounts and change your privacy settings. For example, if there is some information that you prefer to keep private, remove them or archive them on your accounts.


The hiring process can be challenging both for candidates and recruiters. Employers want to avoid making bad hiring decisions, and candidates would like to showcase their skills and capabilities in the best way possible. 

As a result, all companies are trying to use the most professional, accurate and systematic hiring methods so both the candidates and recruiters can benefit from that. 

Because without understanding a candidate’s skills and qualifications, no employers can choose the right candidate for the company.

Choosing the right pre-employment test will help employers to make fast and accurate hiring decisions which can increase team work productivity and lead to a healthy, happy and stable work environment.