Building a career comes with a lot of responsibility, and the pre-employment process is just one step along the way. Companies designed this process to test your skills and abilities. This means that you can expect the hiring manager to ask you to complete tasks relevant to the job you are applying for.
The pre-employment process is also an opportunity to learn more about the company or organization you are applying to. The company allows applicants to ask questions and better understand the organization’s work environment, culture, and values. On the other hand, you can use this opportunity to ensure that the company is a good fit for you.
This is also one of the ways employers can check if you fit all the minimum requirements they are looking for in an employee. Remember that not all employers are the same. Some would require more from applicants, while others would require less. With that in mind, here are some things your employer might expect you to do pre-employment:
Fill Out Paperwork, Such as an Application and Tax Forms
The first thing employers will ask you to do is fill out paperwork. This will include an application form, W-4 forms, and I-9 forms. The application form asks for your basic contact information, work history, and education. Companies use the W-4 form to calculate your taxes, while the I-9 form is for verifying your identity and work authorization.
You might think that identity verification is not that essential, but it is. US law requires employers to verify all employees’ identity and work authorization. The I-9 form ensures that you are legally allowed to work in the country. This is a critical factor, especially if you don’t have American citizenship.
As for the tax forms, employers use these to calculate the taxes they will deduct from your paycheck. The W-4 form, in particular, asks for your filing status and the number of allowances. The more allowances you claim, the fewer taxes the company will deduct from your paycheck. This is because you are telling the company you have more deductions.
Knowing the type of paperwork companies will usually require you to fill out will make it easier and faster for you to complete them. You can better prepare yourself and avoid any delays in the hiring process.
Take a Drug Test
Most employers require applicants to take a drug test for pre-employment screening. This ensures that their employees are not using illegal drugs, which can influence their job performance. The most common type is the urine drug test, which screens for illegal drugs such as marijuana, cocaine, opiates, and methamphetamine.
Drug tests usually involve a urine sample, but some employers might also require a blood or hair sample. Applicants who fail the drug test will fail the pre-employment process. When asked to take a drug test, do not use any illegal drugs weeks before your scheduled test. You should also avoid second-hand exposure to marijuana smoke, as this can lead to a false-positive result.
Some businesses require applicants to take their drug test through a specific website. If the company allows you to choose a drug-testing facility, make sure that you do your research. Find one that is convenient for you and offers the type of test you need. It would be best to find a reputable center that does onsite drug testing services so you can get your results asap.
Undergo a Background Check
According to reports, 92% of companies require their employees to undergo background checks. This is to ensure that you are not lying about your qualifications and that you don’t have a criminal record. The background check usually includes employment, education, and criminal records checks.
Employment verification involves contacting your previous employers to confirm your job titles and dates of employment. On the other hand, the education verification process involves contacting your school to verify that you have indeed graduated from their institution.
The criminal records check will search for arrests or convictions in local, state, and federal courts. Some employers might also conduct a credit check, especially if the position you are applying for is financial in nature.
Let’s say, for example, that you have a misdemeanor on your record, such as a DUI. This will not necessarily disqualify you from the job, but the employer might view it as a red flag. It is always best to be honest about your criminal history, as lying can get you into more trouble. Explain the circumstances surrounding the offense, and you might convince the employer to give you a chance.
The best way to prepare for a background check is to gather all the relevant documents beforehand. This includes your employment history, educational, and criminal records (if any). Review these documents carefully and make sure that the information is accurate. Be prepared to explain any discrepancies that the employer might find.
Keep in mind that the pre-employment process is just one part of your overall career journey. The companies you are applying for can have varying pre-employment assessments to gauge your eligibility for the role you are interested in. The key is to make the necessary preparations and understand what to expect to ace your interview and get one step closer to your dream job. With the help of this list, you can better prepare yourself for the usual pre-employment requirements and have a more seamless experience.