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10 Dos and Don’ts for Effective and Compliant Employment Screening

A report by Australia’s Independent Commission against Corruption (ICAC) stated that 20 to 30 percent of job applications contain some false information. While a recruiter’s job is to hire a perfect fit, the decisions he or she makes rests only on the information provided by the job applicant, which may be false. In an attempt to level the playing field, employers make use of screening checks to validity information about prospective employees. This process helps to improve the quality of their hire, which increases productivity and reduces the risk of the employer’s liability.

However, to obtain optimal results, there are several dos and don’ts for effective and compliant employment screening checks. This article is going to explore just 10 of them.

Do Obtain the Applicant’s Consent

It is simply unethical and illegal to carry out background checks on applicants without their knowledge. Before a police criminal history check like an Australian national police check from any Australian accredited agency is approved, the concerned party has to give the relevant information needed for a police check.

Do Adopt a Methodical Approach

Employers that hire the best people are methodical in their process. They analyze and double-check relevant aspects of an application before making a verdict rather than making a gut-based decision. This ensures that wrong candidates do not make it through the process

Do Consider The Big Picture

The goal of a background check is not to weed out applicants because of a single mistake from the past. That is why a holistic approach is advised when assessing an applicant. Successful employers consider an applicant’s achievements, driving records, criminal records, and many other factors to form a coherent picture before making a decision.

Do Hire an Accredited Background Screening Company

Effective screening checks have to be thorough. Employers that try to do it themselves are susceptible to miss important information. Accredited providers of national coordinated criminal history checks like the Australian National Charter Check follow a rigorous and effective process. They can provide a national level check or a state based police check like nsw police checks. The checks are valid Australia wide.

Do Speak to References

Some employers fail to talk to past employers or references because they are tight on time. However, in addition to the uncovered information from a police check, speaking to references helps to shine a new perspective on applicants. This helps employers put things into a better perspective before making a decision.

Don’t Ignore Behavioral Patterns

While simple mistakes from the past should not justify eliminating an applicant, behavioral patterns say a lot more. A potential employee with multiple impaired driving misdemeanors is not suitable for a role that involves driving.

Don’t Set Blanket Policies

Effective employers understand that there is no ‘one fit for all’ screening policy. A janitor has to be assessed on different metrics compared to an accountant. That is why taking the time to decide what screening information is relevant to the job role is recommended.

Don’t Set It and Abandon It

Some employers have been making use of the same screening policy for the past 10 years. This is bad practice. New laws and regulation, as well as the ever-evolving social and economic landscape, means that screening policies have to be reviewed regularly to bring it up-to-date.

Don’t Avoid Communicating With Applicants

Background checks sometimes turn up unexpected information that is a potential deal-breaker for a top candidate. It is advisable to verify such information from the applicant to avoid losing a great candidate just because of misinformation or misconception.

Don’t Be Slack on Subcontractors or Temporary Workers

Studies have shown that some companies fail to do background checks for temporary staff and subcontractors. This is inappropriate. Police checks are important for both full-term and temporary workers.


There are several other dos and don’t when it comes to having an effective and compliant employment screening. However, these 10 points highlighted are a good place to kick off.

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