EMPLOYMENT SUITABILITY SCREENING
Cost associated with recruiting and hiring trustworthy individuals and developing them into competent, professional, employee, is critical to achieving and maintaining a positive business reputation and represents a significant business investment. One which is squandered, where high personnel turn-over is experienced.
Employers must exercise reasonable care and due diligence in selecting the individuals they commission to perform work on their behalf and serve as their representative, when completing assignments. The adverse effects of hiring the wrong person can be devastating. Hiring first and determining employment suitability later, has the potential for internal financial losses, staff disruptions, damage to the company's professional reputation, as well as customer property losses and possible lawsuits.
Having the information pre and post employment background inquiry can provide, could make the difference in hiring an acceptable applicant, the best applicant, or the wrong applicant. Presumably, the ultimate goal of any employer is to hire someone of good-moral-character, with a positive work ethic, who is compatible with existing and anticipated business endeavors, and is interested in establishing a long term employment relationships.
Employers must be ever vigilant, exercising due diligence and reasonable care in selecting the workers they employ, particularly those who are provided unfettered access to company and customers' personal property and valuables. Conducting pre and post employment suitability inquiries demonstrates an employer's good-faith efforts to eliminate inappropriate applicants from the employment pool. S.O.A.R.S. provides reliable and cost effective pre and post employment suitability screening which assists employers in making better informed employee hiring and retention decisions.
PRE-EMPLOYMENT SCREENING SERVICES
Inquiries begin with having the applicant\employee complete a personal history profile and execute relevant record release authorizations. Having the applicant\employee personally complete the initial questionnaire, establishes a basis for veracity assessment.
Once the applicant\employee has provided comprehensive information about himself\herself, the information is verified and augmented through nation-wide inquiries designed to develop a composite profile of the individual. Public records are queried, nation-wide, with specific attention given to areas where the applicant\employee has lived and worked. Areas covered include residency history, education, training, licensure, prior employment, identified criminal activity, civil litigation, financial responsibility, moral turpitude and in appropriate situations medical issues.
S.O.A.R.S.' efforts in these matters not only meet, but surpasses recognized standards for Due Diligence to avoid claims of "Negligent Hiring". The results of S.O.A.R.S. inquiries, empowers the committed employer to hire the most qualified individuals from the applicant pool, where services are being provided, while adhering to statutory and regulatory mandates of preference in employment.
S.O.A.R.S. recommends employers confirm prior employment information provided by the applicant and make probing inquiries as to the applicant's previous work related duties, performance and personal conduct. This is something the employer can undertake if they have the desire and the time. It is a straightforward proposition of contacting the prior employer and asking questions to verify dates of hire and separation, job title, salary, reason for leaving, eligibility for rehire, as well as date of birth and Social Security Number verification. The name and position of the individual contacted should be recorded for future reference in additions to any comments provided regarding the applicant's prior work performance and demeanor. If other employers, not listed by the applicant, are identified, they should be noted and highlighted as a "discrepancy" to the employee provided information.
If the applicant provides the name of his\her prior supervisors, an effort should be made to contact the identified individual and make supplemental inquires as to the applicants prior work related duties, performance and attitude. Once again, this is something the employer can perform with minimal difficulty.
Verifying personal and professional references serves a greater purpose than it might appear. Presumably, an applicant is only going to list individuals who will provide him\her a favorable recommendation. However, applicants who are attempting to escape an unfavorable past, frequently list fictitious references. The employer may elect to perform this function as well, as it too, represents a straight-forward contact and question proposition. If the name and telephone number provided by the applicant prove to be valid, issues to be addressed should include the nature and length of their association with the applicant, their impressions of the applicant's personal demeanor, emotional stability, work ethic and moral turpitude.
Depending on the circumstances, employers may be liable for damages arising from criminal acts committed by an employee while acting as an "agent" of the employer. S.O.A.R.S. strongly suggests the employer make a diligent effort to identify any conviction record maintained by all City, County and State agencies where the applicant has resided. Something which cannot be appropriately accomplished absent a duly executed records release authorization.
Education claims appearing on resumes and applications should not be assumed to be true. Applicants may present falsifications in the form of counterfeit reproduction of diplomas, altered transcripts, impersonation of legitimate degree holders and claims of degree\credential status without supporting documentation. Provided an appropriate educational information release authorization is obtained, verification inquiries can be performed with identified trade schools, colleges and universities.
DRIVER'S LICENSE REPORT:
Employers may be held liable for the acts, errors and omissions of their employees which occur while the employee is operating a company or personnel vehicle, when associated with company business. Employers are urged to verify an applicant\employee possesses of a valid driver's license and a prior driving history appropriate for the duties and responsibilities of the job. Frequently, the information returned from a Driver's License inquiry, can prove useful in identifying driving restrictions, substance abuse or other behavioral problems. At present, New Mexico driver's records are only available by written correspondence, which delays completion of an employment suitability inquiry.
PROFESSIONAL LICENSE VERIFICATION:
Verification of all professional licenses should always be performed, to include any record of complaints and\or disciplinary actions associated with the license.
WORKERS' COMPENSATION CLAIMS HISTORY:
Information pertaining to claims filed, dates of claims, nature of injury, employer, if a claim was upheld or denied, is available through Worker's Compensation, which could prove useful in properly channeling work assignments for unskilled and semi-skilled laborers. Individuals frequently apply for positions requiring physical exertion, when they know, they are susceptible to physical injury. However, this information is not accessible, until a job offer, which may be conditional, has been made to the applicant.
Information pertaining to an applicant's involvement in civil litigation, either as a plaintiff or defendant can be insightful, when assessing the applicant's suitability for employment.
FEDERAL CRIMINAL RECORDS SEARCH:
The federal court system does not accommodate identity specific inquiries, unless a docket number is known. Otherwise, search queries return a none specific list of individuals with the same and\or similar name, which experience has proven to be unmanageable. For that reason, S.O.A.R.S. does not recommend conducting Federal Criminal Records Searches unless a federal court docket number or FBI identification number is known.
FEDERAL PRISON INMATE INFORMATION:
The federal prison system does not support identify specific inquiries. Unless an individual's FBI identification number or Federal Bureau of Prison number is known, S.O.A.R.S. does not recommend conducting Federal Inmate Records Searches.
NEW MEXICO PRISON INMATE INFORMATION:
Information is available, which can determine with specificity, if an individual has been incarcerated in the New Mexico Corrections System. The search is available on-line and there is no associated cost, other than the time, require to perform the search.
Information is available to determine if an applicant has filed for bankruptcy. Delving into an applicant's financial history may not be appropriate in all instances, however applicants who will be handling cash, other valuables or entrusted with access to Client property and customer valuables presumably would warrant such attention.
Information pertaining to an applicant's military history, is available. However, a duly executed records release authorization is required and receipt of the information routinely takes between two and three months, because a written request for the information must be submitted to one of fifteen military records repositories located across the United States. Recognizing an applicant's military service is a laudable effort, however determining conditions of the applicant's discharge could be equally as important.
IDENTIFIED TERRORISTS LIST:
Comparing an applicant's name to publically an available identified terrorists' list maintained by the United States Government, represents a continuing good-faith effort to limit customer exposure to an undesirable element present in today's work force.