What employers are checking in a pre-employment screening

18 August 2017
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As technology advances, so too does the landscape for economic crime. This is proving to be both a challenge and concern for Australian employers. Findings from the 2016 Global Economic Crime Survey conducted by Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC) revealed that 33% of corporate organisations have experienced economic crime. Of this number, almost 50% of the incidents were committed by internal parties. In Australia, 52% of respondents said they had experienced economic crime. This statistic confirms that economic crime is a real and growing concern in the Australian workforce and requires quick action! 

As an actionable first step towards preventing corruption and misconduct in the work environment, most companies will perform a series of background tests on all potential employees. Implementing a strict pre-employment screening process means that an organisation is taking a vital step towards protecting not just their business, but also their people, productivity, culture and reputation.

If it’s been requested that you provide a potential employer with documents that will be used in a pre-employment screening process, here is what you need to know they’ll be looking at. 

Clarity at interview

When a company is advertising for a position, to make the inherent job requirements clear to the applicant, they will ensure that all facets of the advert align with the position itself. The job ad should match the job description, and questions asked at interview should reflect this as well. Generally, an organisation will address the following points in a job description: 

  • Task – What tasks are required in the job?
  • Competency – Is the candidate qualified? Can they work to a deadline?
  • Job Style – Is the position rigid/flexible/routine? 
  • Knowledge
  • Experience

If you’ve been invited to interview, it’s expected that you’d have done a sufficient amount of homework prior to the meeting. Candidates at interview should have a good understanding of what the expectations of the position are, as clarity at this stage demonstrates your potential employer is diligent and the business is well-aligned. 

Comparing your CV with LinkedIn

As a candidate, it’s important that you don’t underestimate how much information is public. When completing a pre-employment screening, employer’s will compare your CV to what can be seen on LinkedIn. Information that is typically cross-checked includes: University attended, previous employment dates, job titles and qualifications.

Your potential employer should also ask for the most relevant reference as this will help them in ensuring that only the correct information is offered during the pre-employment phase.  

Completing a national police check

A national police check search involves identifying and releasing any relevant Australian Federal Police (AFP) information subject to relevant spent convictions, non-disclosure legislation and information release policies. Each of these Police Checks can only be undertaken with the informed consent of the person being checked.

Carrying out police checks shows due diligence and care from an organisation. It exemplifies that the company values their reputation, team culture and clients.

It’s not uncommon for a potential employer to ask if you have a criminal history at interview. If you do have a criminal record, you are legally obligated to let your potential employer know. However, if the crime isn’t related and won’t impact the job, employers can’t exclude you as a candidate.

This article was originally posted on My Police Check.


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About the author

Fiona Crawford

With over 15 years human resources, training and coaching experience across a range of industries including sport, fitness, finance, hospitality and automotive; to say Fiona Crawford is passionate about HR is an understatement. She has operated her own HR consulting business and worked on start-up HR functions, transformational cultural change programs, mergers and acquisitions, strategic and operational HR initiatives, delivered group-wide HR projects, and managed extensive coaching and training programs. Fiona has a BA Sports Studies (majoring in Psychology, Marketing and Science), and was awarded the AHA NSW HR Manager of the Year. Her uncompromising commitment to high performance and continual improvement stems from her sporting background - a two-time medal winning Olympian in the sport of softball (Silver 2004 and Bronze 2000).