Pre-employment screening vs re-screening: What employers need to know

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Background Screening

Things change, so do people. Over time, employees could become subject to substance abuse, fall into the dungeon of addiction, or commit a crime. Would an employer’s only option be to wait and have the dark side of the bubble rise to the surface? No. Organizations today have begun implanting re-screening as part of their global background screening policy to avoid just that.

Pre-employment screening can be considered a well-established practice. Re-screening or continuous screening, however, is not. Did you know that in recent years employee fraud alone has increased by 45%? 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 themselves from potential risks. Several employers adopt proactive employee background screening processes as they engage with leading background screening solution providers 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 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.

Screening vs re-screening

The table below dives deep into the stark differences between screening and re-screening, from an employee standpoint.

Parameters Screening Rescreening
Coverage Covers only potential hires 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 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:

1. Compliance with the local laws is key – there are laws such as the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) that need to be adhered to, and therefore the employer needs to ensure that re-screening practices are not perceived to be discriminatory.

2. The law mandates post-employment background checks for a certain category of employees including the transportation, medical and education sectors.

3. Changes 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.

4. Mergers and acquisitions can sometimes call for the normalization of background checks of employees being acquired.

5. Finally, defining appropriate actionable in case of adverse reports.

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

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 multifold when such a program needs to be rolled out at a global level.

Are you curious to know more about how such programs can be devised effectively to address your global re-screening needs? Write to irene.jones@neeyamo.com and we will reach out to you and walk you through this in further detail.

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