Screening Terms Glossary

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The ability to automate a judgment based on background screening outcome. This judgment often results in “meets requirements” or “does not meet requirements” outcome. Once adjudication takes place automatic distribution and/or adverse action can occur.

Applicant Tracking System (ATS)

Any system, whether in paper or software form, that manages both an organization’s job posting and data collection (i.e., resume/applications) process to efficiently match prospective candidates to the proper positions.


Computer Virus

A Computer Virus is a self-replicating computer program that alters the way a computer operates, without the knowledge of the user. A true virus replicates and executes itself.  While viruses can be destructive by destroying data, for example, some viruses are benign or merely annoying.


Very sensitive information. Disclosure could adversely impact our company.

Consumer Reporting Agency (CRA)

A credit bureau that gathers and provides information about individuals – such as if they pay their bills on time or have filed bankruptcy – to creditors, employers, and landlords. Companies that perform pre-employment screening services are also considered CRAs and are governed by the FCRA, as are the employers that use background screening services.


A common measure used in human resources to evaluate the average costs incurred in recruiting and hiring new employees. Generally, the equation is total recruitment costs divided by total number of new hires. Typical components of this measure include relocation costs, advertising/job board fees, interviewing expenses, referral bonuses, recruitment staff compensation, skills assessment and pre-employment screening.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

A technology designed to help organizations maintain interaction with their customers.


Employee Relationship Management (ERM)

ERM applications work in conjunction with ERP systems, which hold critical employee data. Through the Internet, ERM applications give employees access to their own training, benefit and payroll information.


The process of obscuring information to make it unreadable without special knowledge.

Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO)

A system of employment practices regulated by the EEOC under which individuals are not excluded from any participation, advancement, or benefits due to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, or any other action that cannot lawfully be the basis for employment actions.

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)

The federal agency responsible for administration of several statutes that prohibit discrimination; has power to subpoena witnesses, issue guidelines that have the force of law, render decisions, provide technical assistance to employers, and provide legal assistance to complainants.


Recruiting methods that take place via the Internet such as job boards.


Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)

The FCRA is designed to protect individuals, by promoting accuracy, fairness, and privacy of information in the files of every Consumer Reporting Agency (CRA). Companies that perform pre-employment screening services are governed by the FCRA, as are the employers that use background screening services.


In computer science, a Firewall is a piece of hardware and/or software which functions in a networked environment to prevent unauthorized external access and some communications forbidden by the security policy, analogous to the function of Firewalls in building construction. The goal is to provide controlled connectivity between zones of differing trust levels through the enforcement of a security policy and connectivity model based on the least privilege principle.

Form I9

Federal form required of all appointees to verify their U.S. citizenship, or if they are aliens, their eligibility for employment in accordance with the Immigration and Naturalization Act of 1986.

Form 8850

A form used by employers to pre-screen and to make a written request to a State Employment Security Agency (SESA) to certify an individual as either a member of a targeted group for purposes of qualifying for the work opportunity credit, or a long-term family assistance recipient for purposes of qualifying for the welfare-to-work credit.



An operating language established by voluntary members of the human resources community who agree to use common definitions to facilitate automated exchange of all HR-related data between organizations.

Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS)

Software-based systems that manage all or a part of the human resources function of an organization. Typical functionality includes employment demographics, benefits/compensation management, training, payroll and reporting.


Information Lifecycle

Information Lifecycle (or Data Lifecycle) is a management program that considers the value of the information being stored over a period, the cost of its storage, its need for availability for use by authorized users, and the period for which it must be retained.


The actual part of a software program or Web-based application that the user sees and uses. This is normally designed to be easy to use and aesthetically pleasing.

IP Address

A unique number that devices use to identify and communicate with each other on a computer network utilizing the Internet Protocol standard (IP). Any and all participating network devices:  including routers, computers, time-servers, printers, Internet fax machines, and some telephones - must have its own unique IP address. Just as each street address and phone number uniquely identify a building or telephone, an IP address can uniquely identify a specific computer or another network device on a network. It is important to keep your IP address secure as hackers can gain control of your devices and possibly launch an attack on other devices.


Job Board

Any formal, organized place where jobs can be posted for prospective applicants to view and apply. Examples include bulletin boards, Web sites (i.e., and recruitment agencies.


Management Reports

Reports designed to reflect pre-screening report activity. An example is a report that displays turnaround time for reports and types of reports ordered. This is different from the pre-employment screening report, which displays information specific to the individual candidate.



A type of communication found in a system that uses layered protocols. Peer-to-Peer networking is the protocol often used for reproducing and distributing music without permission.

Pre-employment screening

Pre-employment screening services include background verification, drug screening, skills assessment and behavioral assessment tools. A thorough background screen verifies important factual information about a prospective employee (i.e. identity, employment history, education credentials). It also helps gain critical information about an applicant’s character and past history that isn’t always apparent in an interview or application, such as criminal history, credit history, and driving record.



A Router is a computer networking device that forwards data packets across a network via routing. A Router acts as a junction between two or more networks transferring data packets.



Spyware refers to a broad category of malicious software designed to intercept or take partial control of a computer's operation without the consent of that machine's owner or user. In simpler terms, spyware is a type of program that watches what users do with their computer and then sends that information over the internet.


Part of the Wi-Fi Wireless LAN, a service set identifier (SSID) is a code that identifies each packet as part of that network. Wireless devices that communicate with each other share the same SSID.



A common measure used in human resources to evaluate the average amount of time it takes to fill an open position. This is normally measured from the point the job request is submitted by the hiring manager to the point the new employee walks in the door.


WEP Encryption

(Wired Equivalent Privacy) A part of the wireless networking standard intended to provide secure communication. The longer the key used, the stronger the encryption will be.

Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC)

A federal income tax credit that encourages private sector employers to hire eight targeted groups of job seekers.


(Wi-Fi Protected Access) A part of the wireless networking standard that provides stronger authentication and more secure communications, replaces WEP. WPA uses dynamic key encryption versus static as in WEP (the key is constantly changing and thus more difficult to break than WEP).



Short for Extensible Markup Language. XML is a language designed especially for Web documents. It enables the definition, transmission, validation, and interpretation of data between applications and between organizations

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