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 verification 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.
|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 firstname.lastname@example.org to have someone reach out to you and walk you through this in further detail.