Most of the organizations today conduct background checks of new hires. It augurs well to avoid the liability of a negligent hiring. But, what about rescreening your current employees? Have you given it a serious thought? Organizations, generally speaking, do not consider it as important as pre-employment background checks. At least that’s what the numbers show.
- Even though current employees pose significant ongoing organizational risk due to the access to company assets, customers and employees, 48% of employers do not rescreen their personnel post-hire. This statistic is surprisingly only 5% less from 5 years ago (53%) despite the fact that rescreening provides a perfect opportunity for organizations in reducing their operating cost.
- For those businesses that do rescreen, the majority do so when employees are promoted or change roles. Just 10% of respondents rescreen contingent and / or contract workers – down significantly from 31% in 2013.
This apathy towards candidate rescreening is due to the faulty perception that pre-employment background check records will hold good during the entire tenure of the candidate in the organization. But is that necessarily true for all employees? And if we are not sure about it, are we not taking the same risk as not conducting pre-employment checks at all?
The case for rescreening current employees
There are growing instances in organizations where candidates, after getting hired, engage in misconducts that can harm the working environment and can have an adverse impact on the employees working in the organization. In order to keep the workplace a safe place and free from employee theft and potential violence, it is important to rescreen current employees.
Here are some reasons why this is necessary.
# 1 To keep up with the changing times in the life of the employee
Hiring a candidate for an organization needs investment. It requires you to devote your valuable time and money to recruit, on board and train your employees. These employees get complete access to the organizational property and key corporate information. They represent your company; and are your face while interacting with your customers, vendors and general public. But, they might change with time and may indulge in activities which are not legal.
Criminal background check is not the only screening option to be adopted during the rescreening process. It is important to carry out other checks too. For example; if your employee holds a professional license or certification, it is critical to verify it on an annual basis. Other times, employers may want to keep a track of motor vehicle reports/ driving records, industry specific sanction lists and credit reports of the employee, depending on their job role which can change with time, making it imperative to rescreen the current employee.
# 2 Thorough scrutiny of those employees who were not checked thoroughly in the earlier screening process
There are certain candidates who were selected on the basis of some special criteria which didn’t mandate background check, or those who were not vetted properly in the earlier process. It has been observed that this is more common with new hires, as they slip through the cracks bypassing the screening process altogether. Irrespective of whether it is an innocent mistake of the hiring manager, or even a resume fraud from the employee, there is a high risk factor of having an employee in your organization, who has not been screened properly. It can have serious consequences on the organization as a whole along with its employees and customers.
# 3 Change in job responsibilities or newly promoted employees
It is important for recruiters to make it a standard practice to rescreen employees when they are promoted, transferred to another department or undergo any change in their job responsibilities and duties. It is possible that their screening might have taken place a long time back and with new position it is very likely that there would be additional screening requirements that needs to be met. For example; You might have conducted the criminal background check, but not verified their education or degree. Conduct rescreening of the current employee in cases where they have been given new responsibilities to ensure that they meet the criteria to carry out the new tasks.
Best practices of rescreening current employees
Although rescreening current employees is a necessary task, it may not always be necessary. Follow these best practices to use the rescreening process judiciously.
- According to a Hireright Whitepaper, “24% of organizations admit it is possible that their board members have never been checked”. So, don’t leave senior staff while implementing a rescreening program for these employees.
- Rescreen employees when they are promoted or given additional job responsibilities to ensure that they are fit for the role being offered.
- Rescreen contractual workers every time they are hired for work.
- Reduce employee risk by rescreening all or selected staff annually by taking proper measures in accordance with the rescreening program.
Vital ingredients of a successful rescreening program
A successful rescreening program should contain the following as a prerequisite:
- Develop a background screening plan, keeping your rescreening program in consideration. All the employees in your organization should be aware of the policy and should know the place where they can raise their concerns related to the policy.
- The rescreening program should comply with local data protection laws that are applicable as per your industry regulations.
- The rescreening program needs to predefine the potential risk to the business, according to the role in the organization.
- It should have a policy that defines an appropriate action that needs to be taken if an employee is found with an inappropriate rescreening result. The action should be as per the role and designation of the employee in the organization.
Practicing rescreening of current employees as a norm benefits an organization in the long run. The key is to make it a consistent process so that employees do not mistrust the organization’s intentions. Hire a background screening vendor which has the knack for balancing the act of rescreening employees in your organization; and can assist you in formulating a good rescreening program that can go a long way in securing the confidence of your employees.
cFIRST Think Tank is the team that researches and produces content for cFirst. This team comprises of seasoned content and digital design professionals and background screening industry veterans. Together we produce insightful blogs, infographics and reports meant for HR and background screening professionals.