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In March, 2006, an employee from investment banking was arrested for handing over the confidential information relating to the clients’ debit card leading to a loss of £233,000 from the accounts of its UK customers. The many instances surrounding the customers like fraud and theft of customer details force the recruiting companies to spend its time and resources on conducting a proper screening test of its potential employees. This effort can go a long way in minimising the occurrence of theft, absenteeism and turnover in the company, thus adding to the brand image of the company.

Pre-employment screening process has become a necessity in today’s selection process. On determining the skills required for the job and on the receipt of the applications from the potential employees, the company has to start with the screening procedure.

The presentation of the covering letter and the résumé is the first tool used for screening the applicant. Well presented document do go a long way in explaining the character of the candidate. After the first rejection, the manager is to look for the past work experiences of the employee. If the aspirants’ skills match with the requirements, his application must be set aside for further scrutiny.

The job applications are divided into three main categories – applications from possible recruits, reject applications and prospective employees’ application. The application from the possible recruits whose past experiences suits the prerequisites defined for the job is set aside for further screening. Reject applications are those which fail to conform to the job requirements. The application of prospective employees is set aside for future use as the human resource department sees the aptitude of the applicant, which though does not match with the current requirements, might be used in future.

The résumé of possible recruits are further put under scrutiny. The past experiences mentioned in the résumé plays a vital role in today’s recruitment. The past history defines the type of job performed, the rate of growth attained by the individual, the skills possessed, etc. The employee’s dedication to the job gets reflected through the level of growth and the time taken to achieve them. The résumé also reveals through its presentation whether the employee is organised, thereby displaying the working habit. Job hopping has become a major cause of worry to the HR department on account of the high costs involved. The stability of the applicant is mirrored through the résumé as it reveals the frequency at which the employee has changed his vocation. A background check is inevitable before recruiting an employee as it tells the reliability of the individual, his performance, the reasons for job hopping, etc.

After the initial screening, some companies conduct a telephonic interview before one-on-one interview. The method of speaking defines the personality of the individual. The presentation skills, respect, communication skills, maturity, and knowledge can be identified through the telephonic interview.

Depending on the role to which it is applied, the employee may be subject to tests which give forth his technical knowledge, reasoning ability, communication skills and inner personality. Tests can also be used to identify how the candidate performs under stress. This might be followed by group discussions that tell the performance of the individual in the group. With team being the driving force to company’s success the ability of the individual to move in sync with the team is inevitable for the individual and company’s success.

The candidate is then subjected to the final screening procedure - the interview. The appearance, outward personality, presentation skills, technical knowledge, level of maturity, motivational factors, etc can be identified through interviews. Certain companies subject the potential candidate to medical examination as the final step in the recruitment process to screen the physical capabilities.

Though the general screening process is the same, it can be moulded to suit the industry. Screening process reduces the chance of employee related problems thereby adding to the goodwill of the company.

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