Scrutiny from a Hirer Authority: Preemployment Screening Is Crucial If Companies Want to Minimize the Potential for Employee Problems Down the Road

By Cohen, Lawrence Mark | Security Management, November 2003 | Go to article overview

Scrutiny from a Hirer Authority: Preemployment Screening Is Crucial If Companies Want to Minimize the Potential for Employee Problems Down the Road


Cohen, Lawrence Mark, Security Management


Comprehensive preemployment screening is crucial if a company is to weed out dishonest job applicants. Recognizing the importance of this step of the hiring process, many U.K. companies have implemented extensive screening policies. The following looks at what some of these companies are doing with regard to front-line staff, contractors, and key positions; it also examines the types of information sources available to U.K. companies and some of the special considerations involved in collecting the data.

Front-line staff. Pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has a global employee screening policy. Bill Trundley, head of global security at GSK, believes mat thorough screening of employees is central to creating a strong security culture within a company. "It sends out the message to everybody straight away that the company takes security very seriously, he says.

HSBC, one of the world's biggest banks, also considers screening essential. It screens all of its own staff in-house, says Chris Smith, head of regional security for Europe at HSBC. (Some positions get an additional level of screening from outside consultants, as discussed later.) The company's human resources department runs a check on employees, scanning public records such as the Electoral Roll (a register for voters) to confirm a job applicant's personal details and contacting credit reference agencies to check up on the applicant's financial record.

Rather than handle this work in-house, GSK contracts with Alternative Investigations Management (AIM), an agency for preemployment screening. And since May, the process has been computerized and placed on the network. Forms completed by the hiring manager and job candidate are sent to GSK's screening agency via a secure network. "The electronic system speeds things up and allows you to keep track of the screening process more easily," says GSK's Trundley.

The agency runs a wide range of record checks to verify a job applicant's identity and qualifications and to determine his or her credit history and criminal record. Management reviews this information before making any hiring decision.

In addition, since the company does research using animals and has been the target of animal rights groups, GSK does a search of Web sites and media databases to see whether a job applicant is an extremist looking to infiltrate the company.

"I think it is a very good idea for companies to run these checks," says Simon Imbert, director at Capital Eye, a screening agency that vets staff for U.K corporations. If a job applicant has appeared in the press for the wrong reasons, employers have a right to know about it, says Imbert. But such media research to learn more about a prospective employee might soon be outlawed in the U.K. by the Office of the Information Commissioner, which implements data protection laws in Britain. (see "If It's Personal, It's Protected," April 2003, for more on data protection laws in the U.K and throughout Europe.)

All information collected about each GSK applicant is stored on the company's electronic vetting system. One advantage of having the information stored electronically is that the process is accessible to all hiring managers throughout GSK who have access to the system. "By having a multisite function, it stops people leaving one site under a cloud and then joining another part of the company," he says.

Contractors. The attention to preemployment screening extends to GSK's contractors too. All contractors, from the guarding finn through to the cleaning company, have to confirm that they are screening their staff to the same standard as GSK, which audits contractors' screening of staff GSK runs periodic spot checks, selecting a small group of contracted staff at random. "We will carry out our own preemployment check on these staff or ask to see an audit," says Trundley. "All contractors will say they screen their staff to the required standard, but the proof of the pudding is in the eating, which is why it is necessary to have audits. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Scrutiny from a Hirer Authority: Preemployment Screening Is Crucial If Companies Want to Minimize the Potential for Employee Problems Down the Road
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.