With the cost of hiring the wrong person estimated at between 1.5 to 3.5 times their salary, conducting background checks to avoid a costly bad hire has become the norm for employers. While most organizations recognize the need to conduct a background checks on their candidates prior to employment starting but rescreening employees during employment is not nearly as well known.
Pre-employment screening typically includes either a Basic, or Enhanced Criminal Record Check to ensure the candidate does not have any recent or relevant convictions related to their specific position, in addition to various other searches relating to their role. These may include verifying a candidate’s previous employment and gathering references from former managers/supervisors. If the position involves driving or using a company vehicle, a Driver’s Abstract or Driver’s License Verification would likely be utilized too. Getting a complete picture of the candidate’s history is an important step to avoid any adverse impacts on the organization or any unnecessary risks for the company, its employees, or the brand.
Once a candidate has successfully passed a background check and starts employment, some organizations do not perform any further screening on their employees, despite the existence of ongoing risk. However, increasingly many industries are rescreening due to changes in requirements and advancements in technology.
What is Rescreening?
Rescreening involves running background checks on an organization’s current employees. This is different than running a pre-employment background check, prior to an individual starting with the organization. Conducting background checks on current employees is an important step to continue to mitigate risk as a company, however not all searches are necessary or recommended for rescreening.
Why Rescreen Employees?
There are background check searches that have static results – meaning once completed, the results won’t change in the future. Examples of a static background search include education and employment verifications. Once you have verified the candidate’s education, you know that they will always have that degree or diploma.
Other searches have results that can change over time, such as criminal record checks, driver’s abstracts, and driver’s license verifications.
An individual can be convicted of a crime at any point during their employment and without completing regular criminal record checks on current employees, an organization wouldn’t know this information, putting them and their other employees potentially at risk. Despite many organizations including a self-disclosure process in their Human Resources Policies for employees, whereby an employee is required to disclose if they have any new criminal convictions, the reality is that many will not disclose this.
Similarly, driver authentication searches can change over time. If an individual is expected to drive as part of their position, it is important to ensure that their license stays valid and that no restrictions are added that could impact the person’s ability to do their job, or the liability on the organization.
When to Rescreen Employees?
Although the timeline for rescreening current employees will vary based on an organization’s background screening policy, below are a few of the more common scenarios where rescreening is utilized:
- When changing positions within the organization: if an employee moves to a different position, it is common to do a background check as a condition of the move. If an organization’s background screening policy includes different searches based on position, it is important that any internal moves have all the required searches completed. For example, if the new position requires the handling of cash or financial information, the organization would likely want to conduct a credit check on that employee before giving them that responsibility.
- Annual rescreening: conducting annual criminal record checks on current employees is a common component of a rescreening policy. Many industries have set requirements for periodic background checks.
- After a certain period of employment: if annual rescreening doesn’t fit within an organization’s budget, an alternative is to rescreen employees every 2-3 years. That way the rescreens are spread out over a period of time, reducing the cost, but assuring a more comprehensive policy that only screening individuals prior to their employment commencing.
Components of a Rescreening Program
For any background screening program (including the rescreening of current employees), organizations should always have a background screening policy in place, accessible by all employees. The policy should include which pre-employment searches are required for each position as well as what the policy is if a red flag is discovered. It doesn't hurt to provide specific criteria for rescreening, including when and how this would take place, how red flags are handled and what steps are taken if an individual refuses to consent to additional background checks.
To help make the rescreening of current employees as efficient and cost effective as possible, utilizing a third party that invests in technology is important. For example, utilizing a background screening provider that allows for bulk or batch ordering can make it easy to send requests to all employees that need to partake in the rescreening process.
Additionally, partnering with a provider that can integrate with your applicant tracking system can also make the process smoother as it allows easy tracking of when rescreening is due according to your HR policies, and all background check results will be stored within the employee’s profile in the system automatically.
All rescreening policies should be in accordance with applicable Provincial and Federal privacy legislation. By including rescreening in their background screening policy, organizations are ensuring they have a key component of a successful and reliable policy.
To learn more about how the ScreeningCanada Platform can help your organization with your rescreening, contact one of our product experts here.