HR managers are familiar with the shocking statistics that over half of all applications contain false information, and about 30% of business failures can be attributed to employee dishonesty. As a result, over 95 % of employers carry out, at least, one form of background on potential hires, and about 86% of employers carry out criminal history checks in particular.
However, many employers assume that once a person is hired, they’re good to go for years, even decades. This explains why only 39% of employees conduct secondary background checks on current employees. This is when re-screening employees come into play and is a very crucial decision in any organization.
The problem with this approach is that a pre-employment background check is only valid up to the point it was obtained. If an employee commits a crime, losses work authorization, or has their license revoked, the employer may never find out. This opens up a company for serious legal liabilities in the case of an accident, harassment, or worse. In countries like Australia, fines for employing an illegal worker that does not have adequate work-rights exceed $400,000. Workplaces avoid this fine by conducting a vevo check to see if the worker has adequate work rights in Australia, even after the person has been employed.
That’s why we’re going to explore the top four reasons companies should consider re-screening their current employees:
1. Ensuring a Safe Work Environment
It’s every employers’ responsibility to maintain a safe workplace at all times. A person with a clean record at the point of hiring might have since incurred serious criminal convictions. It may be due to a personal issue the employee is going through. However, if violence erupts in the workplace, the employer will be held responsible for failing to carry out best practices in terms of workplace safety. By re-screening employees, employers can take note of staff members that pose new risks to the work environment.
2. Protecting Client Safety
Without re-screening current employees, it’s possible for employers to unknowingly trust their business assets to individuals with a serious criminal record. In today’s digital age, business assets are usually in the form of digital data. In order to avoid security breaches and database hacks, sensitive information must be protected by the most trustworthy individual.
3. Discovering Employees that Skidded through the cracks
Sometimes, job candidates do get away with the lies they tell, maybe it’s about their education, experience, or criminal record. Without re-screening employees, there’s no way to catch such dishonest individuals. Imagine a scenario where a person lies about having a degree when they don’t and then rises to a prominent position within the company years down the line. If such information becomes public, it can tarnish the reputation of the organization. This also means that violent individuals and sex offenders may be part of the workforce.
4. Theft Prevention
Criminal history checks through a government accredited service like Australian National Character Check and credit history checks are part of the routine for job roles in the financial sphere. Imagine a candidate passes those checks at the point of entry but two years down the line is at the brink of bankruptcy either due to a vicious divorce or medical emergency. With such immense financial pressure, such an individual might succumb to theft. However, by re-screening employees, employers can get a sense of major changes in the lives of their employees and how it will affect their ability to effectively and honestly fulfil their roles.
5. Keeping updated with changes in the employee’s lives
An employee may be free of any criminal records when they were first hired. But it is not uncommon for people’s lives and situations to change. Therefore, some employers may re-screen their employee to check if their criminal history checks are free of any criminal records. Some organizations also have the policy to check their certificates or licenses on a regular basis. Other records they may want to see are the credit card report, driving records, drug testing, financial management such as gambling risk or sanction lists specific to an industry which is subjected to changes over time.
6. Inspect someone with new responsibilities
With new responsibilities comes new challenges. Employees should be considered for re-screening when they are transferred to a different department, are promoted or are appointed to new duties and responsibilities. The main reason is as their responsibilities change, it is of vital importance to check their suitability towards that job. It could be that the employee you are planning to promote or provide extra responsibilities with is not a perfect fit for that position.
7. Employee transfer
Some companies have business setups outside their country or region and need employee transfer to those branches. It is preferable to get a screening check done when an employee is moving out of the state or country for business purposes. Sometimes, an international screening needs to be done for the other country and the initial checks are not relevant. It is also common for businesses when they merge and the standards are changed.
Not only the temporary staff require a re-screening check, but there are companies which frequently re-screen their board members too as per the rule of the organization. This is done to meet the high-security standards of the company to not only recognize the internal threats associated but it is also an opportunity to identify the employees and their history. This should be made as a part of the company policy.
Although many employees may find this offensive and some might not even be willing to undergo one, there are explanations to support this decision. The advantages far outweigh the disadvantages. All companies should incorporate a robust re-screening practice into their HR policy. Current employees should be screened, at least, once every two years. Moreover, if an employee gets promoted or changes their job role, they should be screened to ensure that they meet the requirement for their new position. A decision as small as this can make a big difference in the company as this will ensure the employees potential to perform their duties.