Most companies, upwards of 90%, recognize the importance of screening job candidates to avoid external threats to employees, customers, and the company itself. But it seems that few are taking into consideration the internal threats that may evolve when you only conduct background checks during the initial hiring process. What happens if someone commits a crime while employed with your company? What means are you using to ensure that the integrity of your employees remains consistent after the first day of work?
A healthy background screening program includes rescreening employees after a certain period and continuing to screen those employees periodically throughout their employment. For many companies, rescreening takes place annually or bi-annually, depending on the sensitivity of the industry. Some industries have specific guidelines regarding the time frame that rescreening should happen. For unregulated industries, the amount of time between background checks can be determined internally. For any industry and any company, a transparent process that is clear to all employees is a must.
• Keep it consistent- ensure you have policies and procedures that address when you re-screen employees. If your company has a policy regarding reporting arrests, include this information clearly in your screening procedures and employee policies. It’s also important to be clear if you plan to rescreen individuals who are being promoted or moved to more sensitive positions.
• Address the consequences- Your background screening policy needs to address what happens if negative information is uncovered during a rescreening. In keeping with Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recommendations regarding blanket policies, it may be best to avoid a generic statement that if “X” is found, the employee is terminated, demoted, etc. Any information uncovered should be looked at in relation to the individual’s position with the company and how it may affect their ability to safely perform their day-to-day responsibilities.
• Be conscious of your background screening budget- lower cost by focusing on a specific time frame since the individual began employment. In most cases the initial background screening before the individual was employed likely confirmed his/her identifying factors and looked further into their residential history for jurisdictions to be searched for criminal records. Limiting the search parameters to a year or even two years will likely mean less jurisdictions, which reduces cost.
• Follow state and federal laws- many states have specific rules regarding background checks that can be applied to pre and post screenings, so it is important to know and understand any state specific laws that might affect your organization. If you are a PSI client, you have access to the HR State and Federal Helpdesk at no additional charge. This valuable tool was designed and written by industry attorneys and is updated when state and federal laws change. As always, we recommend reviewing your background screening policies and procedures, including any information regarding rescreening of employees, with legal counsel.
How We Can Help
PSI can help you with rescreening employees at an affordable cost and we will customize a package to ensure consistency for your background check program. If you have questions regarding our background screening services, contact a member of our team at (706) 235-7574.
*While PSI offers information you may find helpful, we do not, and cannot, provide legal counsel. You should review your background screening policies and documentation with an employment attorney prior to implementation, and again as needed to remain aware of, and compliant with, changes in applicable federal, state, or local laws.