Pre-employment screening vs re-screening: Its Impact on your organization

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Pre-employment screening vs re-screening

By Irene Jones, 31 October 2018

Things change, so do people. Over the course of time, employees could become subject to drug and alcohol addiction, or get charged with a form of assault or even get sentenced to probation or judicial custody. Would an employer’s sole option be to wait and have the dark side of the bubble rise-up to the surface? No. Continuous pre-employment screening or re-screening is designed to avoid just that.

The Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) Research Department estimates that 69% of companies in the United States have policies that require background checks to be performed on new employees. As of 2012, most of these background checks are conducted after a contingent offer of employment. Pre-employment screening, therefore, can be considered as a well-established practice. Re-screening or continuous screening, however, is not.

You tend to know very little about an employee at the time of hiring. Pre-employment screening helps employers make a sound hiring decision, validate what was told (or sold) at the time of the interview or shared as a part of the resume, and therefore help safeguard from potential risks. Many employers adopt stringent Employee background screening engaging world-class partners to screen candidates before making a hiring decision. So, what happens to those employees post-hiring?

The past might seem like a pretty good indicator of the future, BUT, that does not always hold good. While Employment Background Screening offers a rear-view mirror based risk assessment at the time of onboarding a new hire, re-screening, on the other hand, allows employers to continuously assess potential risks that might occur among existing employees on an ongoing basis.

Screening vs re-screening

The table below takes a closer look at the “why” aspects of screening and re-screening from an employee standpoint.

WHY” Screening Re-Screening
Coverage This covers only (potential) new-hires. This covers all existing employees and therefore is an effective way to address insider-threats.
Scope All checks – as applicable. Typically involves criminal and drug screening.
Liability Basic protection against employee theft, fraud, workplace violence, and negligent hiring liabilities. Primarily against workplace violence, fraud, and negligent retention liabilities.
Periodicity Once – at the time of hire. Periodically – annually or semi-annually
Consent Obtained from the employee at the time of hire. It is recommended that periodic consent is obtained from the employee even though the original clause may be considered to be evergreen.
Cultural Impact Nominal. This is a standard practice at the time of hiring.


The impact on the company’s culture is questionable and needs to be tactically handled. Employees will need to be briefed on the organization’s requirement to re-screen.


Factors that drive the re-screening program

It all starts with a well-defined program and a structured policy. Here are some of the factors to consider while designing the re-screening program.

  • Compliance with the local laws is an important factor to consider – there are laws such as the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) that needs to be adhered to, and therefore the employer needs to ensure that re-screening practices are not perceived to be discriminatory in nature.
  • The law mandates post-employment background checks for certain category of employees including the transportation, medical and education sectors
  • Change in responsibilities assigned, such as those received during promotions could sometimes lead to different sets of checks being performed due to changes in risk perception to the employer.
  • Mergers and acquisitions can sometimes call for normalization of background checks of employees being acquired.
  • Finally, defining appropriate actionable in case of adverse reports.

While employment re-screening could possibly be just one aspect of an organization’s insider threat protection program, it could also be deemed as the most important one. A re-screening program allows employers to effectively address risks of embezzlement, fraud, theft, and even violent behaviour.

The bottom line? Re-screening needs to be an ongoing program and not a one-time process. An employer will need to work with a competent partner who can assess its needs holistically and collaborate with the organization to devise a tailor-made program that is suitable to the organization. Truth be told, the complexity could manifest multi-fold when such a program needs to be rolled out at a global level.

Want to know more about how such programs can be devised effectively to address your global re-screening needs? Write to to have someone reach out to you and walk you through this in further detail.

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