Creating an Effective Screening Policy in Eight Steps

A Step-by-Step Blueprint for Developing Robust Screening Procedures in Your Organization

Drawing up a screening policy in eight steps

3 June 2022

You want to be sure that you are selecting the right staff members. How do you go about that, especially now that more and more introductions are taking place online? Screening is of crucial importance here. But who do you screen and how? That is exactly what you record in a screening policy. This is immediately useful to safeguard the legal side of the screening process. In this article, you will learn how to draw up a screening policy based on eight steps.

Why draw up a screening policy? Let’s start at the beginning. Why should you write a screening policy? There are several reasons for this. The ten most important reasons?

    1. An important part of an HR policy.
    1. Mandatory for internal employment screening.
    1. To establish and demonstrate the legitimate interest.
    1. To map out the integrity risks by function.
    1. To describe the control measures already in place.
    1. To record the work process.
    1. To create support within the organization.
    1. Transparency in communication with candidates and employees.
    1. Clear signal about the value and standards surrounding ethical behavior.
    1. To pursue a safe and reliable work environment.

Writing a screening policy in eight steps

Now that the importance of a screening policy is clear, the question arises: How do you write such a policy? For this, we have defined eight steps. By following these steps, you go through all the elements of a good policy.

Step 1: Formulate the objective
Here you formulate the objective, the “why” of a screening policy. Why does your organization screen and what do you want to achieve?

Step 2: Determine the target group
In this step, you determine who you are going to screen. Describe who it concerns: potential candidates, existing employees or clients, for example.

Step 3: Describe definitions
Within a screening process, you will be confronted with various definitions. Make sure you describe it well. By approaching this properly, you guarantee that everyone is on the same page. What exactly is screening and what do we mean by privacy? These are all matters that you include in the policy. If your organization has a Compliance Officer, involve him or her in writing this policy.

Step 4: Establish ownership
In this step, describe who is responsible for what internally. Also think about who decides in case of certain risk profiles.

Engaging a specialized third party
This is the perfect time to engage a specialized party. You have mapped out what the needs and objectives are. A third party can help to examine steps 1 to 4 together and to help you further flesh out the next steps.

Step 5: Define frameworks
In this step, you work out the frameworks within which the screening process should take place. Which positions do you want to screen: only top management, people who work with confidential data or couriers, for example? Here you also think about the frameworks related to GDPR and things such as: what is considered a “high risk” and what do we do if there appears to be an increased risk? Also, consider the conditions for (being allowed to) carry out screening.

Step 6: Screening tools
Once everything has been defined, you can look at the tools you want to use. Do you want to take up the Certificate of Good Conduct (VOG), CV verification and integrity list yourself? If so, describe where and how you (legally) arrange and record this. If you want to engage a third party for this, describe the activities and the tools and ask for rates.

Step 7: Describe finances
Describe the costs you incur as an organization for each assessment. Make a comparison of the costs if you (partly) take up the screening yourself or outsource it. Take the final decision, and the associated costs, into account in this step.

Step 8: Quality assurance
Make sure you periodically check the process and the outcome of the screenings. Determine how often and in what form you want to evaluate this. For example, we plan an evaluation moment with our clients after ten screenings. Proper monitoring allows you to adjust processes and gain insights.

Screening policy checklist

Would you like to get started on fleshing out a screening policy? Use this checklist to maintain control and overview.

The right approach

This information is part of our practical guide to an effective screening policy. Do you want to hire candidates with integrity or screen existing staff for abuses and falsehoods? Read the entire guide and you will know exactly how you should approach this as an HR professional. Don’t feel like reading this document in its entirety or do you still have questions? Feel free to contact us and we will help you take the right steps.


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