Employee screening is vital in the new world of work


Dr Tanja Nicholls | Head | Talent Assessments & Talent management Solutions | Mettus | mail me |

Today’s workplace – and the way we work – has been majorly disrupted over the past few years.

The arrival of a remote or hybrid way of working has seen the adoption of several transformative technologies within organisations to enable work to be done virtually. These new models have resulted in the emergence of new disciplines, work patterns, skills and competency requirements.

In addition, organisations are adjusting to a new economy with the generative artificial intelligence space since the launch of Google’s Bard alongside Microsoft’s Bing chat and OpenAI’s ChatGPT. The dynamics of technology driven roles, virtual work solutions and AI now demand an interesting, renewed set of techniques, skills and competencies among employees.

According to Microsoft, 82% of leaders globally said employees will need new skills in this AI-powered future. It’s clear that AI will become part of an organisation’s strategy and as such AI as a skillset will become increasingly sought after.

As such, employees need to equip themselves with the skills required for the future. The skill sets required will entail digital literacy, awareness of cybersecurity and AI ethics, critical and analytical thinking, learning orientation or intellectual curiosity, flexibility, creativity and AI delegation or prompting skills.

How do you find the right employee in this new world of work?

According to Gartner, HR leaders and recruiting professionals are finding it increasingly difficult to quickly find and develop the right talent, yet 58 percent of the workforce needs new skills to get their jobs done.

If an organisation hires the wrong employee or an employee that doesn’t have the right skills, this can lead to huge financial costs and decreased productivity – and it can have a negative impact on the company culture, team morale and performance. According to research conducted by Harvard Business Review, nearly 80% of employee turnover is attributed to poor hiring decisions.

In order to identify ideal candidates, employers can use a variety of psychometric and competency assessments in order to screen and evaluate potential job candidates. Through the screening process, employers get data-driven insights to determine if candidates will fit into the workplace culture, have the required cognitive abilities, competency and traits required to perform in a role.

What does employee screening entail?

Depending on the level and nature of the job, screening can entail qualification verification, criminal records, credit checks, identity verification, risk management and social media screening, as well as identifying if candidates meet the minimum requirements of the position.

Pre-screening can also include psychometric assessment to screen out those who lack the desired level of skills and competencies for the job. In-depth competency assessments including competency-based interviews and job simulations can also help narrow down candidates with the highest potential for job success.

So how do companies undertake the screening process? Many opt to use a specialised background screening company to assist.

One such company is MIE, the largest background screening and vetting company in Southern Africa. The company’s trusted and innovative smart vetting solutions and extensive industry knowledge mean that MIE is able to advise and assist clients with all their candidate and commercial (client and supplier) background screening and vetting requirements.

How does screening differ for a hybrid/work-from-home candidate?

When screening candidates for hybrid or remote work roles, employers need to know what to look for. Apart from psychometric assessments that provides a remote worker index, asking the right questions during an interview can help you pinpoint which applicants would likely thrive in a hybrid role, and which might do better in a fully office-based role.

Working from home or in a hybrid role is not ideal for everyone and some may have an unrealistic idea of what it may entail. It’s therefore important for a company to determine if a candidate has worked in this capacity before as well as why they would want to do so.

Identifying the motives behind a candidate’s desire to work in a remote or hybrid setting can give an employer insight into their priorities, goals, and work style – particularly if they have never worked from home before. It may also reveal personal responsibilities that could diminish their focus and the approach they would adopt to overcome these challenges.

With the right assessment and a comprehensive screening solution in place – while also taking a view towards the future skills needed to thrive in the market – organisations can identify the most promising candidates from the application pool, which ensures that the right talent is aligned with the right roles within the organisation.



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