Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

How Far Should a Job Screening Go?

Cliff posted more than 7 years ago | from the where-would-you-draw-the-lnie dept.

Privacy 675

SlashSquatch asks: "My sister is getting screened for a programming position with a financial firm. I was alarmed to hear she'll be getting fingerprinted at the Sheriff's Office as part of the screening process. Instantly I conjure up scenes of frame-ups and corporate scandals. I want to know, should this raise a flag? Would you submit to fingerprinting, blood tests and who knows what else (financial, genetic code, and so forth) for a programming position?"

cancel ×

675 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

It's a financial institution (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19159025)

Happy sunshine trusting in the inate good in all people is how we got Active X controls that could format your hard drive from the web. Sometimes, people are douchebags. And while you know your sister, most people in the world don't. With what's at stake, they'd prefer to avoid the scenerio in which they have to explain their lack of due care with respect to retroactively obvious red flags in her background. You could always, out of the kindness of your heart and fraternal love, pay her to sit at home and play Wii.

if it requires latex gloves (5, Funny)

DaveCar (189300) | more than 7 years ago | (#19159033)

then that is too far

Re:if it requires latex gloves (1)

RebelWebmaster (628941) | more than 7 years ago | (#19159103)

Most companies require at a minimum a drug screening, and maybe a physical too. I'd say both of those would mandate the use of latex gloves.

Re:if it requires latex gloves (2, Funny)

LinuxGeek (6139) | more than 7 years ago | (#19159155)

I think they were referring to a more goatse like interview. Run. Like. Hell.

Re:if it requires latex gloves (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19159631)

If you hiring process can't screen out addicts, fire HR, don't treat your employees like cattle.

Way to extreme (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19159035)

As someone who has a criminal record, I find these processes way to extreme. Currently with my job working for the NSW Department Of Education, there is routine background checks to check that your not a child sex offender, other offences will affect your employment but not definate.

But its going to far when they require you to have your finger prints recorded, I would personally turn down a job which required my finger prints to be recorded, the only time in this industry you would need your finger print recorded is for access to resources using finger print scanners.

Re:Way to extreme (0, Offtopic)

Aqua_boy17 (962670) | more than 7 years ago | (#19159265)

other offences will affect your employment but not definate.
Obviously spelling is not one of them.

Re:Way to extreme (1)

Architect_sasyr (938685) | more than 7 years ago | (#19160035)

We're australian, go easy on us!

When I signed up for my current job I was required to give my finger print to the company so that I could clock in and out every day and make my money. Being the paranoid I am, this disturbs me. What disturbs me more is that should an officer ask we are obliged to hand out said prints.

This isn't quite a background check, but I know that when they looked at my license it was run through the NSW License Database to ensure that I still actually *had* it and that my offenses weren't too bad.

IMHO, if you want a job you do what you need to do, providing the pay is right.

And to the Anonymous GP: Christ man, I wouldn't be sooking about a background check to see if your a sex offender, I'm not sending my children to a single school which hasn't been audited. And if they find out that 3 months ago you were arrested for fraud, do you think you could possibly get a job as an accountant? I understand that people reform, but as has been mentioned, I don't know that, only you and those close to you do.

My $0.02 AU

Re:Way to extreme (2, Insightful)

Targon (17348) | more than 7 years ago | (#19159855)

Since we are talking about a financial institution here, the honesty of employees MUST be checked. Previous criminal activity of applicants would probably be a bad thing there. In addition to this, if there IS a crime, searching for fingerprints would probably be standard, so having the fingerprints of all employees on-file would probably make it easier to screen who may have done it.

Also, fingerprint recognition would be a way to verify that applicants are not using an alias/fake ID with a criminal record to get access to sensitive information.

As you have said, you have a criminal record, so would probably be passed over for employment by financial institutions, and government jobs where you might have access to sensitive information. I am not saying that ALL jobs are like this, but if honesty is critical to a job function, anyone who has a criminal record would probably get an automatic fail during job screening.

Re:Way to extreme (2, Insightful)

thetable123 (936470) | more than 7 years ago | (#19159955)

I am not sure about SEC rules, but typically the fingerprints are used strictly for doing a background investigation. They are not allowed to be put on file with law enforcement agencies. Once the background check is completed, they are to be destroyed. If they are being done by the sheriffs office, then it is most likely because the company does not have the trained personnel or equipment to do them in house. Background investigations are pretty much standard fair for anyone in the IT world. (We have too much power to let us in without checking first.)

Ummmm.... No. (2, Insightful)

kg4czo (516374) | more than 7 years ago | (#19159037)

Why on earth would they fingerprint anyone for a programming position? My guess is simply because they can, and that if you don't submit to it you don't get the job.

Taking a gene profile is going waaaaay over the top. They can kiss my lilly-white butt.

Re:Ummmm.... No. (5, Insightful)

Kevin Stevens (227724) | more than 7 years ago | (#19159189)

I think the poster is way off. When you work in finance, you get fingerprinted because of SEC requirements (when they investigate insider trading or other wrongdoing, they often fingerprint the documents used so you can't say someone forged your signature). She probably falls under the class of employee requiring this because she has access to some sort of non-public information or real time market data not generally available to the public. I don't see anything to get heated over here. This is standard practice in finance.

Re:Ummmm.... No. (5, Insightful)

xtracto (837672) | more than 7 years ago | (#19159525)

Sorry pal, I was about to mod you Insightful (two spare mod points :) but I have seen a lot of comments against fingerprinting and I thought I would better write my comment to "defend" it.

The first poster (Anonymous Coward) stated it very well, she is working in a Financial Institution. I think the security on those is similar if not better (or worst? depending on POV) than the goverment agencies (CIA, FBI, DOD, ETC) because the information being played with there is *very* sensitive.

Also, I do not know what is so fucking outrageous about finger prints, my father has a ranch, and when I was younger we went every saturday to pay the pawns theyr week salary, and my dad kept a book for the payments (ala spreadsheet). Some of the pawns didn't know how to read/write, hence my father used their fingerprint as a signature to acknowledge payment. That is a common practice to autenticate people in poor countries. And it is way better thana lousy signature.

Again agreeing with the AC, I think that, if she does not want to be deeply screened then Finance is not an industry where she should get a job. She might preffer going to Google, Amazon or any standard software shop...

Re:Ummmm.... No. (2, Funny)

danbert8 (1024253) | more than 7 years ago | (#19159225)

I got finger printed working for my local church. It's not that unreasonable to check your background. You wouldn't want to be programming with a muderer, or someone that throws chairs would you?

Re:Ummmm.... No. (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19160069)


I got finger printed working for my local church.

That's so they can compare your prints against those they pull off the buttocks of altar boys, Father.

Re:Ummmm.... No. (4, Interesting)

twistedsymphony (956982) | more than 7 years ago | (#19159267)

Finger printing is the limit for me... I've turned down two jobs in the past that required I be finger printed. Both companies seemed appalled that I would turn them down for something so "petty". One of them seemed to understand when I explained that I felt the measure was a severe violation of my personal privacy and decided to wave the need for the finger printing. I this was a smaller company though, I would suspect any company of reasonable size with those kinds of policies in place wouldn't have the flexibility to bend the rules like that.

Re:Ummmm.... No. (5, Insightful)

shabble (90296) | more than 7 years ago | (#19159925)

Both companies seemed appalled that I would turn them down for something so "petty".
I hope you pointed out that since they think it's so petty, then why should they enforce it on you/anyone?

Re:Ummmm.... No. (1)

coastwalker (307620) | more than 7 years ago | (#19160019)

See film Rollerball from 1975 for the next compulsory business activity. Corporations behave inhumanly and indecently because the employees have no say in how they are run.

Re:Ummmm.... No. (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 7 years ago | (#19159319)

It's possible to extract DNA material from a fingerprint - even an old one. Bear that in mind if you believe you can consent to one but not the other.

Re:Ummmm.... No. (4, Funny)

rts008 (812749) | more than 7 years ago | (#19159579)

Besides, having seen some of the keyboards I've been exposed to in different jobs....how do they get through all of that crap to get fingerprints?

Forensic lab tech1: 'We've got the results analysed...
Forensic lab tech2 '...and it's definately Mountain Dew, Cum Stains, Red Bull, and...
Forensic lab tech1: ...no shit, cheezy poof powder! Oh! Fingerprints?...Uhmmm...
Forensic lab tech2: ....it could be anywhere from one demented asshole, to three million high-turnover, disgruntled employees!?!
Forensic lab tech1: 'Basically, we need more data to pin this down...'
Forensic lab tech2: 'Ah, yeah...Hmmm?...which server had that pr0n directory on it?
Forensic lab tech1: 'Sounds like a plan...you grab the Mountain Dew, and I'll grab the cheezy poofs!

Enter GINA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19159999)

...or the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act! They may not discriminate on the basis of genetic information. Interestingly enough, Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad tried to do just that by attempting to establish a genetic basis for carpal tunnel syndrome so that they could avoid payment on claims.

Bipolar in Seattle (4, Interesting)

Foofoobar (318279) | more than 7 years ago | (#19159041)

I've drawn my line at looking at my financial and even my health records; some people feel these help tell whether you are 'stable' but some of the most creative types in the world are financially incompetent. I myself am bipolar so neither of these records should be a reflection of what kind of person I am as far as I'm concerned especially now that I have found a decent medication and stayed on it continuously for over a year.

I understand that employers feel they need to protect themselves but they shouldn't be so paranoid as to limit their employee pool to only the financially stable, mentally stable and law abiding. They'll never get someone who thinks outside of the box then.

Re:Bipolar in Seattle (2, Insightful)

finkployd (12902) | more than 7 years ago | (#19159087)

I understand that employers feel they need to protect themselves but they shouldn't be so paranoid as to limit their employee pool to only the financially stable, mentally stable and law abiding.

It really depends on the job though, doesn't it? I agree if you are hiring someone for a creative position (like programming) it is probably best to accept that the good people might not be perfectly "normal" (in a general society sense).

However, if you are hiring a teacher, or day care worker, or nurse, or anyone who needs to interact with people as a primary job function (especially vulnerable people) then you better damn well make sure they are mentally stable and law abiding.

Finkployd

Checks and Balances (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19159099)

Indeed. Why do people trust these background checks and pre-employment tests so much? Whatever happened to a good old intesive face to face interview? As an example I took a test to be hired by a armored car company several years ago. It was to be one in a series of tests and background checks (including a polygraph) that a person had to go through to get employement with this company.

To make a long story short I was told that the test said that I was, in this order, too smart and possibly dishonest. Walt helps Locke out of the pit. Charlie drowns when Mikhail blows up the underwater station. Jack attempts to contact Kate in flash-forwards off the island. A short time later one of their own employees, presumably having passed all these tests, stole over $7mil from one of their trucks in broad daylight at a major interstate rest stop and got away with it (caught by his own stupidity several months later).

Just because someone passes these tests and checks doesn't mean that they won't rip you off or comprise your business. It does give a basis but relying on it too heavily is a sure way to get screwed.

Re:Checks and Balances (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19159271)

As you point out, it was the combination of smart and dishonest they found troubling.

Re:Bipolar in Seattle (1, Insightful)

JDevers (83155) | more than 7 years ago | (#19159289)

Employers look at your financial stability for TWO reasons, one is what you list, it basically shows their fiscal responsibility and can be very related or not related at all to the position (personally, I wouldn't want to hire a corporate tax accountant that can't keep himself out of debt...web design specialist, not too worried about it). The second reason though is important for an entirely different reason, it also shows at least a little bit of how motivated someone will be to steal from you. I wouldn't hire an employee that had $50,000 in credit card debt to work a $30,000 per year job without some other extenuating circumstances. Also, remember employees that never see cash at a job can still steal or black mail you.

As to mental stability, you are in a special circumstance here, but most employers aren't going out of their way to hire people who are very likely going to just go missing for weeks at a time. You state you have been on your meds continually for one year but don't state how old you are. If you are 18-20 or so, then good for you, keep it up. If you are 40 then that means half your life you have bounced off and on them and will likely continue to do so, at least from an employer's perspective.

Oh, and not many employers will go out of their way to hire a law breaking employee, of course that depends on the job and the law, but I personally wouldn't want my grandma at a nursing home where a nurse had a long history of substance abuse arrests, have my taxes done by someone who was guilty of tax evasion, or hire a policeman guilty of battery in the past.

Re:Bipolar in Seattle (1)

Foofoobar (318279) | more than 7 years ago | (#19159377)

personally, I wouldn't want to hire a corporate tax accountant that can't keep himself out of debt...web design specialist, not too worried about it
Well since this is slashdot, I think we can limit the number of corporate tax accountant that will be reading this question to a relatively small number and safely assume this applies to technical professionals. To which, as you stated, this doesn't really apply. Hence my, and the authors original concern.

Re:Bipolar in Seattle (2, Interesting)

teflaime (738532) | more than 7 years ago | (#19159817)

hire a policeman guilty of battery in the past.
I've never seen this be a disqualifier for getting hired as a police officer. Murder, yes. Beating people up? No.
Note: I'm not talking about whether it should be a disqualifier or not, but rather if it is currently used that way. As to my background, I was an EMT for several years in a lot of different mid-sized cities. So I was around cops a lot. And there were always a few who had a past history of fighting. Hell, in Rapid City, I knew a cop who was a former 2%er. Still had his ITCOB pin.

Great point! (2, Funny)

MooseTick (895855) | more than 7 years ago | (#19159357)

"I understand that employers feel they need to protect themselves but they shouldn't be so paranoid as to limit their employee pool to only the financially stable, mentally stable and law abiding."

Companies should hire more people who can't handle basic finance, are mentally unstable, and known to break laws. I'd definately like to work at a place like that!

Re:Great point! (2, Insightful)

Foofoobar (318279) | more than 7 years ago | (#19159693)

It's called politics. Try running for office some time. Of course, it helps if you already happen to be privileged to begin with.

Re:Bipolar in Seattle (1)

dheltzel (558802) | more than 7 years ago | (#19159413)

They'll never get someone who thinks outside of the box then.

Your error is believing that they want someone who can think "outside the box". That is not always a desired trait for management. In fact, I find very few job postings where there is an indicator that they want that, and when they say it, watch out, they may not mean it.

Re:Bipolar in Seattle (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 7 years ago | (#19159537)

I understand that employers feel they need to protect themselves but they shouldn't be so paranoid as to limit their employee pool to only the financially stable, mentally stable and law abiding. They'll never get someone who thinks outside of the box then.

I've worked in a controlled environment with people who have significant behavioral problems, are under severe financial strain, have known criminal records, etc. But it is not an experience I would recommend for the unprepared or understaffed. There will be trouble. It can turn serious.

Re:Bipolar in Seattle (1)

Mudcathi (584851) | more than 7 years ago | (#19159831)

"I understand that employers feel they need to protect themselves but they shouldn't be so paranoid as to limit their employee pool to only the financially stable, mentally stable and law abiding. They'll never get someone who thinks outside of the box then." Dude! When you say "think outside the box" it sounds like you're talking about a box with bars on the windows, or a box with padded walls.

"programming position" (3, Insightful)

Average_Joe_Sixpack (534373) | more than 7 years ago | (#19159053)

You make it sound menial. Whether the position with development or support, she'll have access to a lot of sensitive data that if misused could do serious damage. So, no I think the firm is doing its DD.

Re:"programming position" (1)

mjpaci (33725) | more than 7 years ago | (#19159545)

I work for a large financial services firm and I was finger printed as part of the background check. My prints were sent off to the FBI where they were run against their DB. I didn't have to worry about them keeping them as they are already in the FBI DB for stupid shit I did when I was younger. This was for a desktop support job...

I once had to ejaculate in a cup (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19159057)

for a job interview, well, I think it was a job interview, I mean the guy in the alley gave me $50 to watch. That makes it a job interview, right? He wanted to know if I could make smalltalk with a lisp then hack my python till it spewed Java. that sounds like a tech job doesn't it?

Sometimes,yes (4, Insightful)

SecurityGuy (217807) | more than 7 years ago | (#19159069)

Depending on the sensitivity of the position, you *will* have to do things like this. If you're a programmer in a financial services firm, you might be in a position to backdoor systems for financial gain. I can see why they'd want to make sure you're not a known criminal.

Re:Sometimes,yes (4, Funny)

Otter (3800) | more than 7 years ago | (#19159237)

If you're a programmer in a financial services firm, you might be in a position to backdoor systems for financial gain. I can see why they'd want to make sure you're not a known criminal.

...and if they just went by name, they might hire the wrong Michael Bolton!

Re:Sometimes,yes (1)

jrumney (197329) | more than 7 years ago | (#19159805)

...and if they just went by name, they might hire the wrong Michael Bolton!

Imagine trying to program with that guy singing bland pop songs in your ear all day!

Re:Sometimes,yes (1)

jrumney (197329) | more than 7 years ago | (#19160027)

... and yes, I have seen Office Space.

Re:Sometimes,yes (2, Insightful)

Ruvim (889012) | more than 7 years ago | (#19159919)

Yes, because you'd always leave your fingerprints on the handle to the abovementioned backdoor.

Part of the TERRORtory (3, Informative)

packetmon (977047) | more than 7 years ago | (#19159083)

SEC Requires it [sec.gov] for financial firms. I had to go through this when I did contract work for IBM because they were contracted to do work for a bank. If she has nothing to hide, what's the big deal. I have a record and I fully disclosed it in my application prior to even taking the fingerprints. I still got the contract work although I may be a rare exception. This is a funny stance employers will have to look at in the near (and I mean near future). Here in the US, 1 in every about 50 or so citizens has been either incarcerated or has a record. In 2001 it was 1 in every 87. What will US firms do when this number comes down to 1 in 10. Outsource America entirely...

retraction... (2, Interesting)

packetmon (977047) | more than 7 years ago | (#19159193)

Seven million Americans - one in every 32 adults - were behind bars, on probation or on parole at the end of 2005, according to the U.S. Justice Department. Of those, 2.2 million were in prison or jail, an increase of 2.7 percent over the previous year, according to a report released Wednesday. Source [iht.com]

I seriously wonder what these companies will do when just about everyone of legal voting age has had some kind of a run in with the law. Interestingly, in Sweden and some other Euro countries (states whatever they call themselves now), its illegal for an employer to ask these same questions... "Have you ever been convicted of..." buck stops there in Europe. Better would be to ask "Are you qualified for the job... If you've ever been convicted of anything, do you think it will hinder you from the position you are applying for..." Or something carefully worded along those lines.

Re:retraction... (2, Interesting)

jimicus (737525) | more than 7 years ago | (#19159437)

Does the USA have no equivalent of the UK Rehabilitation of Offenders Act?

I'm a bit hazy on the details, but I think it's something along the lines of "after a certain amount of time post-punishment, you're not obliged to reveal a criminal past to an employer, even if they ask". There are other details - it doesn't apply for some types of job, such as national security, and the length of time may vary depending on the crime/punishment. Some crimes you have to reveal for life.

Re:retraction... (1)

jrumney (197329) | more than 7 years ago | (#19160001)

In the UK, you have to declare spent convictions on government security clearance forms, which most financial institutions will require for positions where the opportunity to commit serious fraud might arise.

Re:Part of the TERRORtory (1)

rueger (210566) | more than 7 years ago | (#19159291)

If she has nothing to hide, what's the big deal. OK! I am so totally reassured now!

Re:Part of the TERRORtory (1)

slashqwerty (1099091) | more than 7 years ago | (#19159371)

Here in the US, 1 in every about 50 or so citizens has been either incarcerated or has a record.

I have to wonder where you're getting your numbers. I think it's already 1 in 10 for males.

outsource hell (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19159809)

By the time the ratio is 1 in 10 they'll be worried about the impending revolution, not outsourcing.

Re:Part of the TERRORtory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19159935)

quote: What will US firms do when this number comes down to 1 in 10. Outsource America entirely...

Maybe then people will finally realize that there are way too many people being incarcerated for menial convictions, like possesion, intent, DUI convictions etc. im not saying that we should ignore DUI's, but seriously, i think incarcerating someone for that will just make them more likely to commit more serious crimes when they get out.

Re:Part of the TERRORtory (1)

cfulmer (3166) | more than 7 years ago | (#19159937)

I wonder how many people checked that link of yours. It has precious little to do with fingerprinting.

Re:Part of the TERRORtory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19160013)

What if she has got something to hide? Was she a member of the communist party at uni; has she ever participated in a demonstration; has she ever 'tweaked' her tax records; is she homosexual; maybe she's got a criminal record for smoking a joint. Are these things possibly going to affect her job prospects? Maybe. Might she want to hide them? Maybe. Could they come to light with this sort of focused background check? Maybe. Do they matter? I'd say no.

I wouldn't worry about it too much. (1)

Higaran (835598) | more than 7 years ago | (#19159091)

I wouldn't worry about it too much, things like finger printing and a background test are normal, as for the giving a blood sample, that bugs me for now. As of yet there is now law that I know of that stops discrimination based on genetic profile, like if she had a gene that made here more suseptible to a certin disease or condition, that she wouldn't be hired. I doubt that will last long, sonner or later its going to realy get in the news about some one that didn't get hired or got fired because of genetic discrimination, and then some law will be passed banning it. Besides alot of people will do alot of things for money, if your sister doesn't do what that company wants, I bet there are hundred of other in line behind her for that job.

Re:I wouldn't worry about it too much. (2, Interesting)

finkployd (12902) | more than 7 years ago | (#19159227)

Besides alot of people will do alot of things for money, if your sister doesn't do what that company wants, I bet there are hundred of other in line behind her for that job.

Putting aside how disturbing that sounds out of context, that is not always the case. You generally have more bargaining power at this stage than you think. Consider that that the company just went through a process of posting a position, narrowing down the field to the few they want to interview, then choosing one and making the job offer. They may be able to just drop you and move to their second choice but then they may be excited about obtaining you as an employee and want to do whatever necessary to get you. They certainly do not want to go through that whole process again if there were no other viable candidates and they can avoid it.

Or look at it this way, if they can easily dump you without a second thought the moment you wish to discuss opting out of personally invasive investigations, or altering an overreaching IP agreement then they could easily dump you at any time and do not consider you all that valuable. Do you really want to work there?

If you are desperate and will do anything for money then suck it up and deal with whatever they want to do to you. If you are looking for a place to have a career then it might be worth not settling and continuing to look for employment elsewhere.

Three words (1)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 7 years ago | (#19159095)

Full Cavity Search

Re:Three words (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19159991)

Just curious... are you for it or against it?

At Apple... (1)

CRX588 (1002741) | more than 7 years ago | (#19159101)

They subject you to a full physical test, medical questionnaire and as a bonus a urine drug test. And all that for a job at there helpdesk...

Re:At Apple... (3, Funny)

lisaparratt (752068) | more than 7 years ago | (#19159143)

"Completely sober?! Can't be having with that..."

Re:At Apple... (1)

Medieval (41719) | more than 7 years ago | (#19159445)

I suspect that at Apple, the drug test is to ensure a MINIMUM drug usage, not discourage it.

Bullshit (1)

LanMan04 (790429) | more than 7 years ago | (#19159459)

I call bullshit.

I was hired/worked as a Mac Genius in 2002 (flown to Cupertino for two weeks of training), and there was only a background check. No drug test, no physical, no medical questionnaire.

I doubt things have changed much since then.

Re:At Apple... (1)

gggggggg (862650) | more than 7 years ago | (#19159969)

I guess they missed the grammar tests...

I have had the following required. (1)

jzuska (65827) | more than 7 years ago | (#19159115)

Urine sample (Drugs)
Blood sample (DNA)
Hair sample (Drugs)
Fingerprints (Bank regulation)
Background check (Bank)
Credit (Bank)
Reference check (standard)

Re:I have had the following required. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19159305)

I've had to go through:

Urine (several jobs, drug tests)
Fingerprints (2 jobs: Banking & Government)
Lots of "Background" checks, but have never seen what it is, assuming its just a credit check. Oddly, my credit has been horrid until recently and I've gotten every "check" job I've applied for.
Reference check - I've only had 1 job, ever, actually call my references. In fact, my current company asked for my references 3 weeks AFTER I was hired as part of their in-processing.

Human Resources.. (1)

WhatAmIDoingHere (742870) | more than 7 years ago | (#19159117)

I've got a family member who is a Human Resources manager, and, while I've never heard of the whole finger printing thing, background checks with law enforcement are SOP.

I can even understand pulling your credit report as part of the process, someone who is bad with money is probably more likely to steal shit from their employer.

But I don't see what finger printing does that searching their social security number can't do.

Re:Human Resources.. (2, Funny)

Rob the Bold (788862) | more than 7 years ago | (#19159529)

I can even understand pulling your credit report as part of the process, someone who is bad with money is probably more likely to steal shit from their employer.

"Lisa, a guy who's got lots of ivory is _less_ likely to hurt Stampy than a guy whose ivory supplies are low."

Re:Human Resources.. (1)

mjpaci (33725) | more than 7 years ago | (#19159673)

People can get a new SSN. People really can't change their fingerprints.

Example:

John Smith commits aggrevated assault with a deadly weapon (a rabid badger in this case) and leaves a whole mess of fingerprints behind and does time. They are now "in the system" and associated with him and his SSN. He now has a new alias "Jim Jones" and he applies for a job at a local financial services company with a new SSN. How is the SSN search going to find him to be a convicted felon?

--Mike

It depends... (3, Informative)

Randomish (1042542) | more than 7 years ago | (#19159119)

I think the WHY behind the need for fingerprints should raise flags, depending on the answer. I worked for a large financial company ten years ago that began fingerprinting all of us after a rash of petty thefts. If a company has had a bad experience with rogue employees, at least it would be understandable. If they dust for fingerprints to determine who didn't refill the coffe jug after taking the last cup, then that's going too far.

SOP (1)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 7 years ago | (#19159135)

I worked for a financial services firm years ago and I too was fingerprinted. Granted, I was assisting several brokers but nonetheless, I was required to be fingerprinted. Three times. If memory serves, one copy went to the FBI, once copy went to the SEC and one copy to the firm I worked for.

If anything, being a programmer for a financial firm is just as sensitive a position as actually having access to client accounts. Programmers have access to all kinds of information that others do not.

Considering what business the firm is involved with, other people's money, it's a good thing she is being fingerprinted.

Of course, now that my fingerprints are on file from my former job, and an interview with another government agency, I have to wear gloves lined with tin foil to keep them guessing.

Typical in banking industry (4, Informative)

Skapare (16644) | more than 7 years ago | (#19159161)

Getting fingerprinted is typical in the banking industry. Some banks just require this of all employees while others only require it of people who touch money or deal with the financial numbers. If a programmer would be anywhere near the software involved in manipulating the numbers in accounts, they are "touching the money" enough to be fingerprinted.

If you don't want to be fingerprinted, don't apply for a job in banking, or in a few other areas like law enforcement, government intelligence related jobs, education below the college level, etc.

Re:Typical in banking industry (1)

EtoilePB (1087031) | more than 7 years ago | (#19159905)

Very true. Years ago I had to be fingerprinted when I was doing temp work for Fidelity, because even though I was just filing and photocopying... I was in Ethics, and I had my hands all over every employee's financial statements as well as their spouses' financial statements. I wasn't surprised about the fingerprinting (though it was on-site, not at a police station or sheriff's office), since I had long hours of boredom at the copier to imagine just how much trouble I could cause if I wanted to. (And now, indeed, I work for an educational non-profit and each and every one of us has been fingerprinted, against the possibility of someday visiting one of our schools.)

Re:Typical in banking industry (1)

famebait (450028) | more than 7 years ago | (#19160021)

Getting fingerprinted is typical in the banking industry

Doesn't make it smart or defensible.

If a programmer would be anywhere near the software involved in manipulating the numbers in accounts, they are "touching the money" enough to be fingerprinted

But not enough for fingerprints to actually be useful.

It's financial, not programming. (4, Informative)

IPFreely (47576) | more than 7 years ago | (#19159167)

I went through this many years ago.

Essentially, it's about the business not the job. Financial companies have access to a lot of inside information, a lot of personal information and a lot of money. As a result, they also have a lot of safety and security regulations. And if they are not stupid, they have their own company policies concerning security above and beyond any regulation.

Anyone working for such a company gets screened, basically for any indications of financial burden or potential blackmail (so they know someone else can't blackmail you into doing something illegal against them.) They look for general signs that you might be a risk for illegal behavior.

These policies cover everyone in the company, even if you are just programming something not related to someone elses money.

Now (1)

Abolo (932400) | more than 7 years ago | (#19159201)

It may be less about taking the taking of fingerprints, but more about seeing if the prospective employee is willing to be subjected to such screening. An employee who is concerned about their rights and what's acceptable for a job interview are less likely to be malleable and "adaptable" to fit the evolving needs of the job.

Maybe... (1)

NinjaTariq (1034260) | more than 7 years ago | (#19159215)

If its a big company, it would be an administrative and resourse nightmare should a crime be committed in their building working out if its a member of staff... With the fingerprints on file, they can give them all to the police and say "Is it any of these?".

I wouldn't have a problem with just my fingerprints taken, I assume its all 10. In the states immigrants have them all taken, are people not to come to the USA because their fingerprints would be stored in the FBI computers? As time goes on, more detail on a person is going to be stored by various agencies, its the way the world is moving. Sit at home in a foil lined box if you like, or just get on with it and just stand up to more important things.

In short, no I don't think you should worry. If the requirements get more invasive like records from her OB or genetic testing (depending on what they are screening for and should be done by a third unbiased party), as you suggested, then i would think about looking for another job, but fingerprints are not an issue.

Re:Maybe... (1)

VJ42 (860241) | more than 7 years ago | (#19159707)

are people not to come to the USA because their fingerprints would be stored in the FBI computers?
I don't know about immigrants, but I've decided not to travel to the USA on holiday untill they stop taking finger prints from holiday makers and other visitors.

I live in the UK, I've done nothing wrong so I object to being treated like a criminal just to enter your country. Sorry but various EU countries let me in with barely a glance at my passport, as do many countries in Asia. America has lost my tourist £££s. Your loss is Thailand, India, Spain and Italy's gain. I'm sure I'm not the only one. (though the weak dollar has meant lots of internet shopping in the USA recently ;P )

Re:Maybe... (1)

NinjaTariq (1034260) | more than 7 years ago | (#19159841)

I am from the UK too, they have my fingerprints on file now, I work out here.

I know about europe its great, I just wave my passport at them when i go to austria, they see its an EU and check one in every 5-10. Its really easy. The weak dollar rocks though :)

How far? (5, Funny)

rlp (11898) | more than 7 years ago | (#19159259)

I'd be concerned when they ask "Do you think you're special, Mr. Anderson?"

standard practice... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19159309)

This is standard practice for banks hiring for *any* position.

I was willing to do it to get my current job. Banks usually offer great benefits.

4 weeks of vacation (and I was hired with just 2 years of experience)
100% match on 401k contributions up to 5% of my salary
great medical/dental benefits
employee stock purchase program

just to name a few...

I get fingerprinted just for being here (1)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 7 years ago | (#19159315)

A few years ago the US started fingerprinting pretty well everyone arriving from overseas. Initially it was the people arriving on work visas, then it extended to all tourist visas. I initially got it when on my L-1 visa, and had just index fingers done. Then as part of my green card application I had all 10 fingers done. And that is nothing compared to all the other checks that I have been through.

You citizens have it so easy .. you are just born here. I have had to prove that I deserve to be here (and so far they think I can stay)

Re:I get fingerprinted just for being here (1)

beavis88 (25983) | more than 7 years ago | (#19159387)

You citizens have it so easy .. you are just born here. I have had to prove that I deserve to be here (and so far they think I can stay)

Waaah...you were born somewhere too, I'm sure. Something tells me Americans wouldn't have the easiest time packing up and reporting for work, wherever that is...

Submit (1)

negatonium (1103503) | more than 7 years ago | (#19159329)

You shall submit willingly to anything your corporate wranglers require of you! You are after all company livestock and exist solely to produce product for which you are fed and reasonably protected from the wolves. It's this farm or the next one. Any memory of the free range are best forgotten. It is all fenced in now. This way to your cubicle pen...

Anal cavity search (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 7 years ago | (#19159363)

joking. not as far as that of course.

Travesty (3, Interesting)

tygerstripes (832644) | more than 7 years ago | (#19159395)

I'm not flag-waving here or anything, but the UK's law is fortunately a lot more biased towards the applicant when it comes to discrimination.


Proactive anti-discrimination law only covers six key areas of discrimination (sex, race, age, disability etc), but these laws demand that firms take positive action to prevent the possibility of such discrimination, whether it be deliberate, incidental, cultural, systemic, institutionalised etc. As such the firm must be able to prove that they took every step to prevent discrimination if it ever comes up in court, or they are liable.

However, having such proactive laws in these specific areas is not enough, as discrimination can be exercised in a number of other areas and in subtle ways. Therefore the law makes clear what areas are acceptable for discrimination (in the literal sense) between applicants/candidates for a job. It pretty much boils down to merit: candidates must be selected on the grounds of their ability to do the job, whether that be qualifications, experience, testing or whatever. If an applicant feels that there may have been a discriminatory decision made on any other grounds, the firm has to be able to defend their decisions in court/tribunal/whatever by providing evidence that their decisions were reasonable.

There are legal exceptions to this, but they are quite specific and usually down to health & safety or security, or sometimes public reputation in certain high-level positions. In truth, the practices become more discriminatory the higher-up you go, where laws seem to be more flexible (the very epitome of "privilege"), but for 99% of the population there is no way such "checking" as fingerprinting, financial records, blood samples or anything else would ever be used, nor even contemplated, in case somebody decided to question the practices in court.

One final point on that note, though. A friend of mine applied to work for the Civil Service (powerful, unelected working body of Central Government). She got through all the main tests and interviews, and her final interview was quite invasive. One thing she was asked, which always stuck in my mind, was something along the lines of "Do you feel that you participate in any activities which might leave you open to blackmail to any degree?". I think sexual practices and drug-taking were mentioned as possibilities. I've never heard of anyone being asked that kind of question in an interview before. I can say from experience that she's a massive sexual deviant, and none of her friends or family know, but she felt that she was okay-enough with them finding out to answer "No".
She got the job, anyway.

Disclaimer: I work for local government, where they tend to be more careful about obeying the law and not getting sued...

Re:Travesty (2, Informative)

VJ42 (860241) | more than 7 years ago | (#19159917)

but for 99% of the population there is no way such "checking" as fingerprinting, financial records, blood samples or anything else would ever be used, nor even contemplated, in case somebody decided to question the practices in court.
Whilst this is mostly true, try getting a job in which you might come into contact with children or vunerable adults without submitting to a CRB check. You can't, to be blunt, the law requires that you have one. I know, I've had two within a few years of each other, and all they were for was working 1) in a library (admittedly primeraly as a children's library assistant) 2) in a college "Learning centre"; as they had some under 16s enrolled at the college, again an enhanced CRB check was needed.

Most people think CRB checks are a good thing, personally I think a clean CRB means that you just havn't been caught ;p .

Guess I wouldn't get a job (4, Interesting)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 7 years ago | (#19159397)

As someone who has had mental problems leading to debit (and loosing my job) and taking vast quantities of drugs to cope I guess I wouldn't be able to get a job.

Even though I've been put on medication that works really well (after a lot of trial and error) and I've been doing very well in my current position (I got a job in the UK) for over a year.

Those tests are intrusive and don't prove anything, I'd have the option of taking them and not getting a job or refusing and still not getting the job so I think it's better to refuse and let the company know what you think of their tests.

Re:Guess I wouldn't get a job (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19159485)

let the company know what you think of their tests.

Based on the rest of your post, you have probably reinforced the idea that those tests are the greatest thing since sliced bread. A bipolar who goes on spending binges and gulps drugs like water? Yeah, that's someone I'd take a gander on for a financial programming job.

Trying to find a good hire (1)

dheltzel (558802) | more than 7 years ago | (#19159603)

Trying to find a good hire is hard. There are a lot of applicants to sort through. How can you tell who's gonna work out who's not gonna fit in? Because there is no really effective way to determine the best person for the job, HR comes up with "surrogate" tests for what they'd really like to know. You can't expect an accurate answer if you ask "Are you honest and ethical at all times?". Who's gonna say no to that? So, you do a criminal background check (all the dishonest people must have already been caught at least once, right?). Really all that does is remove some high risk people from the pool of applicants, but it's nothing close to a guarantee for the company.

Managers can't figure out how to measure an existing employee's actual productivity (so they use something they can measure to represent productivity, like hours worked or lines of code), how can they possibly measure the productivity or effectiveness of a potential employee?

Your sister is being scrutinized in the only ways they can think to do it (legally). She might as well submit to this if she wants the job. If she doesn't really want the job, she could act like she does, but refuse the fingerprinting, leading to a standoff where the company might rethink it's policy if they think it's costing them in the hiring market. She should be prepared to loose the opportunity, however, because it's unlikely HR will budge for her in time to get an offer.

Presumably they've a very good reason for asking (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 7 years ago | (#19159617)

So if it was me, I'd find out why they're so insistent that I give them my fingerprints. If it's just company policy rather than a legal requirement I'll turn them down and work for a company that doesn't assume that I'm going to committ a crime. Same goes for any other samples.

Of course some people might go for a less serious response, and simply ask that their immediate manager and the company directors provide the same samples that they ask for.

I have to wonder why people are so desperate for a job that they submit to this humiliation.

ever seen Superman 3 or Office Space?? (1)

TheDawgLives (546565) | more than 7 years ago | (#19159675)

Obviously you've never seen Superman 3 of Office Space. Anyone who works at a financial institution has to be fingerprinted no matter what the position. This ensures they aren't hiring a known criminal and makes it easier to track them down if they do end up embezzling or stealing. This should go DOUBLE for computer programmers who can write code to slide money into a secret account...
My wife had to get fingerprinted to work at a non-financial institution that was owned by a bank. One day another girl was offered a job and refused to be fingerprinted. They let her go but everyone was thinking "what is she trying to hide?"

Re:ever seen Superman 3 or Office Space?? (2, Funny)

91degrees (207121) | more than 7 years ago | (#19159881)

They let her go but everyone was thinking "what is she trying to hide?"

Wow. She was lucky to get out of there at the start. I bet she'd have hated to find out she was working for a company staffed entirely by judgemental jerks after she'd been there long enough to find out.

What's the big deal? (1)

methangel (191461) | more than 7 years ago | (#19159699)

Back in '99 when I got a System Admin position, I had a background check as well as fingerprinting. I don't see what the big deal is, if you have nothing to hide, what's the problem? You don't want felons handling sensitive information.

Get something in writing (1)

HeavenlyWhistler (716762) | more than 7 years ago | (#19159727)

You should ask these questions:

What will they do with the data?

How long will the data be retained?

Who will have access to it?

They may have a legitimate reason for it (financial company), or they may just be nosy. You should draw up a contract which specifies the answers to the above questions. In addition, if you give them permission to have access to third party data (your credit report, etc), that should specify when it expires. "This permission shall expire after 6 months". If you leave the company, they should destroy their copy of the data.

They shouldn't object to signing an agreement, because they should already have policies in place. If they don't have policies, that's a problem right there.

Common for a position of public trust (2, Informative)

Spazmania (174582) | more than 7 years ago | (#19159767)

Fingerprinting is very common for applicants for a job involving the public trust. For example, try getting a job for the Federal government without first getting fingerprinted. Its so common, in fact, that many jurisdictions have a specific police station designated as the place to go to get your fingerprints done.

It's not out of the ordinary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19159791)

A standard background check (as done by law enforcement/FBI/Miliatary) for things such as security clearence or unescorted access to facilities (like police station) requires fingerprints and a whole lot more.

As a sysadmin I got the background check because my employer had a few machines at a police station.

I Think... (1)

Volatile_Memory (140227) | more than 7 years ago | (#19159821)

... that it makes it easier for them get Federal info by submitting fingerprints. I've had to go to my local sheriff for fingerprints during the process of getting my concealed carry license, and the purpose was to have it run against a Fed database. It would be so much easier if that pesky Constitution didn't forbid things like a United States Police Force. And yes, that last bit was sarcasm.

v.m

She's only just begun. (1)

Ahlee (160047) | more than 7 years ago | (#19159851)

The fingerprinting is only the first step.

When I started here (a brokerage) I was fingerprinted, criminal background check, a financial background check/credit report, etc. Be thankful if all she gets is fingerprinted - there are more intrusive things they will want to know down the road.

It's part of working in the financial world. Everybody gets pissy when it comes to money, and the company needs to protect itself. Before you get bent out of shape about the company wanting to cover its ass, how would you feel if you were the head of compliance - the one that would end up in a orange jump suit if these things weren't done and something evil did happen?

Seems reasonable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19159877)

Its unfortunate, but if she is working at a bank, then it might be required by law. Some institutions must perform background checks on their employees similar to those done for security clearances. These include the taking of fingerprints. If she is really that worried about it, then she should look for a job elsewhere.

Typical, especially for financial institutions (1)

singingjim1 (1070652) | more than 7 years ago | (#19159901)

I worked customer service for E*TRADE at a third party call center and the first thing we had to do was get fingerprinted and certified.

FBI Background (1)

pete-classic (75983) | more than 7 years ago | (#19159949)

I used to work in security at a company that handled tax information. All employees were fingerprinted as required for an FBI background check. I think they way they handled it was smarter than the way the company your sister is dealing with does. They'd hire people, and start training them, but wouldn't print them 'till their first day. They wouldn't give them access to anything sensitive until their backgrounds came back.

I see where you're coming from on the privacy questions, but a background check against a name doesn't give you any assurance that the person you're hiring goes with that name.

-Peter

Fingerprinting and more for government (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19160011)

I might have thought it was strange if I was asked to submit fingerprints for my first job in the automotive industry. But when I finished graduate school I went to work for the federal government. I had a low level job at a science-oriented agency. It wasn't an intelligence agency and I wasn't going to have access to any sort of sensitive information. But I still had to file a background report for the FBI and get fingerprinted on my first day.

Now I just lump in fingerprinting with other identification checks like requiring a passport or birth certificate to finalize your hiring. In the case of a government job I guess it's largely to protect the agency from the embarassment of ever discovering that they were unknowingly employing a convicted felon. And also some employees do move into more sensitive positions so it makes some sense to have every new employee submit enough background information to be investigated more deeply as needed.

I have never been subjected to anything like drug testing; I'd like to think I would refuse but that'd be difficult if it meant losing a job. I would definitely draw the line at genetic profiling.

This is Standard Operating Procedure (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19160057)

I started my position with a bank back in 1997 as a Systems Engineer. A policeman was hired by the bank to take my fingerprints. I'm guessing they use a policeman because they have a bit more expertise on taking fingerprints.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>