What is continuous real-time background screening?: A spotlight

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An Intelligence Group survey says that the average cost per hire is €4,494, including personnel costs! For decades, pre-employment background screening has been helping organizations hire the right candidates for the right roles. These checks hold good till a candidate gets on board. But what if one of your existing employees commits a crime, gets their license revoked, or loses work authorization? Are you going to remain in the dark about them?

No. Continuous Real-time Background Screening (CRBS) is technology’s answer to these questions. Let’s look at what continuous background screening exactly is and how it is transforming the background screening industry.

What is continuous real-time background screening?

Otherwise called rolling background checks or continuous monitoring, CRBS is an emerging trend that is recently driving growth in the international background screening sector. New forward-looking entrants have been disrupting the background screening industry with this trend.

Global enterprises generally take the approach of conducting background verifications on candidates to ascertain the data that they present at the interview. Such one-time background verifications will help organizations keep a check on candidate data only while hiring and not after that.

Continuous background screening is a systematic technique with which companies can perform real-time background checks on employees to identify internal threats and flag them immediately when found. It is a post-hire employment screening process that applies to any specific part (or all) of your workforce. Staying informed about the employees’ background is as important, or conceivably, more important than verifying the candidates’ data when they initially apply.

The process is not completely new. Certain regulated industries have been performing some form of continuous background check of employees as it is a mandate – but most of them are not real-time. The best examples include high-risk industries like transportation, healthcare, and finance. But with the advent of rapidly evolving technology, real-time background screening that uses online record databases and digital platforms has given the opportunity to take a proactive approach towards risk mitigation.

Now let’s take a deeper look on how this works. CRBS technology looks for any change in candidates’ background data and identifying them so that organizations can stay away from possible risks. When the background screening software detects a change in an employee’s data, it notifies the employee and begins the verification process. Furthermore, the tool will also allow candidates disqualified due to criminal violations to resurface after an allowed time frame. This will empower employers to give a second chance to the employees and perform a more comprehensive background check on them.

What is continuous real-time background screening?

Otherwise called rolling background checks or continuous monitoring, CRBS is an emerging trend that is recently driving growth in the international background screening sector. New forward-looking entrants have been disrupting the background screening industry with this trend.

Global enterprises generally take the approach of conducting background verifications on candidates to ascertain the data that they present at the interview. Such one-time background verifications will help organizations keep a check on candidate data only while hiring and not after that.

Continuous background screening is a systematic technique with which companies can perform real-time background checks on employees to identify internal threats and flag them immediately when found. It is a post-hire employment screening process that applies to any specific part (or all) of your workforce. Staying informed about the employees’ background is as important, or conceivably, more important than verifying the candidates’ data when they initially apply.

The process is not completely new. Certain regulated industries have been performing some form of continuous background check of employees as it is a mandate – but most of them are not real-time. The best examples include high-risk industries like transportation, healthcare, and finance. But with the advent of rapidly evolving technology, real-time background screening that uses online record databases and digital platforms has given the opportunity to take a proactive approach towards risk mitigation.

Now let’s take a deeper look on how this works. CRBS technology looks for any change in candidates’ background data and identifying them so that organizations can stay away from possible risks. When the background screening software detects a change in an employee’s data, it notifies the employee and begins the verification process. Furthermore, the tool will also allow candidates disqualified due to criminal violations to resurface after an allowed time frame. This will empower employers to give a second chance to the employees and perform a more comprehensive background check on them.

A practical example

The global ride-hailing major Uber has incorporated continuous background screening as part of its employee screening program to verify the background details of its on-demand workforce, after facing a few bad hires.  The company joined hands with Checkr, a San Francisco-based screening provider and successfully received continuous updates about the drivers’ records that included new criminal violations and license suspensions also. Checkr’s technology was able to provide notifications to Uber regarding when a driver is accused of DUI (driving under the influence).

After this implementation, Uber has sent away more than two dozen drivers owing to their criminal activities, says Gus Fuldner, Uber’s Vice President of Safety and Insurance.

The Alarm Bell

CRBS still has a paramount need to comply with regulatory policies. In addition to being compliant with global regulations, organizations are required to adhere to the state and local laws that pertain to disclosure and authorization requirements and adverse action process too. It is recommended to follow the rules of Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) when any issues arise due to removing an employee based on the screening results.

The regulations demand the employer to get written consent from the employees before a background verification starts. Employers should take immense care to make the consent clear enough, failing which a new notice and fresh consent need to be provided the next time. But, even though the federal law (FCRA) accepts such practices, the state or local law might not (Californian laws, for instance).

HR teams need to be prepared for the worst – when an employee refuses to authorize a background verification stating it as a privacy intrusion. Hence, designing a screening program that adheres to global and local compliance is key.

In a nutshell

CRBS helps companies nip bad employees in the bud, thus ensuring the brand image is not affected in any manner because of bad hires. Yet, surprisingly, an SHRM study states that only 4% of 6500 HR professionals said that their companies performed rolling background checks.

Employers should revisit their screening programs and incorporate technology-powered techniques like real-time screening so that they do not go blind in the interim.

To learn more on how you can leverage CRBS and proactively mitigate risks in real-time, get in touch with us. We’ll be happy to assist you.

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