What is allowed in candidate screening?
The screening of a candidate consists of any act in which the candidate in question is tested.
A background check is a process a person or company uses to verify that an individual is who they claim to be, and this provides an opportunity to check and confirm the validity of someone’s criminal record, education, employment history, and other activities from their past is a process a person or company uses to verify that an individual is who they claim to be, and this provides an opportunity to check and confirm the validity of someone’s criminal record, education, employment history, and other activities from their past.
The question is: What is allowed with this screening?
The employer wants to search and collect information about the potential candidate. He wants to know who he is dealing with.
What is screening applicant?
What is screening? Criminal or medical screening, but also searching the internet for a candidate can be considered screening.
Conditions of applicant screening
Screening is subject to certain conditions.
For example, the candidate must be informed about the screening. Therefore it is often wise for an employer to use an application guideline or privacy statement. Also, the candidate should know what the results of the screening are.
Another condition is that the employer must have a legitimate interest in screening. Also, the information obtained may not be used for other purposes. Another important condition is that the information obtained must be properly secured and stored.
Each screening requires customization: one employee is not the other. And a bank director requires a different screening from a cab driver.
Screening by reference
The most old-fashioned way of screening is to call a former employer and ask about the candidate’s performance.
This used to be the case. Now, a former employer may not provide information about her/him without the former employee’s permission, and a potential employer may not approach the former employer without the candidate’s notice and permission.
Often the applicant explicitly provides a referent, and then this contact can declare about the applicant.
Screening via Social Media
Every potential employer will do some googling on the candidate. But strictly speaking, because this information is public, it is not allowed to use this information to assess the candidate’s suitability and form an image. Not even through the Linked-in page.
Also screening through Social media must be made known to the candidate in advance. The candidate must also be given the opportunity to respond to the findings of such a screening.
An employer will often make it known in the job posting that social media can be visited. Then the candidate also has the opportunity to remove or screen any not so favorable photos on Facebook and Instagram.
The requirements to be able to process criminal information are strict. In the Netherlands, it is stipulated that criminal data may be processed by the potential employer if explicit consent is given or if it is necessary for the job. Consent is -in view of the dependency position of the employee- often not seen as a good basis. Therefore the criminal screening must be really necessary, for example a VOG (Certificate of Good Conduct) in childcare.
For any questions related to this topic or any other topic concerning employment law, call me Eva Jongepier: https://fennekadvocaten.nl/advocaten/eva-jongepier/ employment law attorney .