The pre-employment checks and pre-employment screenings originate in the Anglo-American region such as USA, UK and also Australia and New Zealand. In those countries, the systematic and structured review / vetting of applicants has been a successful approach and concept for minimizing risks for the employer in the selection process of employees. Preventive security measures in the context of economic crimes or business espionage against the company and its shareholders is common practice in those countries. It is also intended to avoid damage to the company, which could be caused by hiring less or completely unsuitable or unqualified candidates for a specific position.
The NAPBS (National Association of Professional Background Screeners, “The Voice of Screening Professionals”) defines pre-employment checks as follows:
„A background check is, in very basic terms, information which is compiled on an individual which may be considered when determining eligibility for a job. An employer determines what components to include in the background check based on the industry, or position. The components may include: criminal history information, civil records, driver records, employment records, educational information, license verification, credit information and reference checks. Background checks may also include drug testing, a physical, and even psychological evaluations or assessments. In order to determine which components may be included in a background check, applicants are encouraged to consult with their prospective employers.“
See also: napbs.com
In the past, such preventive security measures were only to be found and a common practice in the context of the recruitment procedures for banks, financial institutions, governmental, military and top management. This has changed in the last few years, but it is still in the beginning stage in Germany (and also in Switzerland and Austria).