Definition

employee vetting

Contributor(s): Corinne Bernstein

Employee vetting is a screening process conducted by employers for checking the background and verifying the information of a new hire or applicant. The process includes confirming employment history, authenticating educational credentials such as degrees, professional licenses and certifications, checking social media profiles, reviewing credit reports and searching for any prior criminal records or jail time. Vetting helps companies find employees that are a good fit and add value to their business, but also entails looking for potential red flags that could identify a candidate as a potential liability.

Employee vetting process

The employee vetting process typically begins after the candidate has gone through an initial set of interviews. Performing a background check too soon is not an efficient use of resources and money, but vetting the candidate too late may mean that a company may need to find a replacement if there is an issue with the prospective employee’s background.

Although vetting policies may vary at different organizations, setting clear guidelines and observing best practices is essential. When employers retain outside firms to perform the screening, they should be required to follow these practices. The screening process for a company should be standard among applicants, meaning every candidate considered for a position should go through the same background check. Job candidates need to sign a consent form giving the company permission to investigate their backgrounds, and this step should be explained clearly to them.

Additionally, companies should avoid making requests for personal or additional information that do not apply to the job. Objectivity is also crucial as racial, gender and other types of bias should be eliminated as much as possible. Furthermore, the applicant’s privacy rights should be protected and companies should understand all state and federal laws before beginning the hiring process.

Employee vetting services

Most organizations screen for experience, legal and financial records once at the pre-employment stage. However, companies are becoming more interested in periodic re-screening and continuous screening, particularly in regulated or high-risk industries such as health care, finance, education and transportation.

  • Re-screening: This process is much like a pre-hire background screen. It can include searching employee names against relevant datasets to find potential criminal activity, driving incidents and sanctions that occurred after the employee was hired. Re-screening may be expensive and does not fully eliminate risk.
  • Continuous screening: This process is typically done through the employer's screening firm and can provide real-time alerts about an employee. For example, when a crime has been committed. Aimed at shielding companies from fraud, theft and reputational damage, continuous background checks are more widely available than in the past as more police departments and court systems have moved to online records systems.
This was last updated in June 2019

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