A great deal of focus is placed on pre-employment background screenings, but what about after a candidate has been hired? While pre-employment screenings are commonly considered an essential best practice for hiring new people, far fewer companies conduct screenings after a candidate is hired.
Background checks on job applicants are only current when they’re conducted, generally prior to their employment with a company. Unfortunately, a candidate who clears a background screening at the time of hire may commit crimes after they begin employment without their employer’s immediate notification.
If an employee is arrested on company property or while completing a work-related task, or if his driver’s license is suspended after beginning work, your company could face significant consequences. Without post-hire background screening, employers are less likely to discover the consequences of an employee’s behavior until it’s too late and a lawsuit is filed.
Post-hire background screenings also reduce the chance for negligent retention. Negligent retention is when a company is held liable for retaining an employee who has engaged in criminal behavior.
For example, if someone is injured as a result of your employee’s behavior, litigants may claim that the company should have known about the employee’s potential for committing crimes. Post-hire background screenings demonstrate to courts of law that your company conducted ongoing due diligence on its workforce.
A regularly scheduled background screening of current employees is a sound way to maintain workplace safety and ensure that your employees continue to meet the expectations of their positions. Following a post-hire background screening checklist can help hiring managers mitigate the risks associated with managing staff.
6 Items to Include on a Post-Hire Background Screening Checklist
You can use this post-hire background screening checklist to build a comprehensive and effective post-hire screening program.
Check industry standards. Depending on your industry, your company may be required to conduct certain post-hire screenings on a consistent basis. For example:
- The transportation and medical industries are required by law to conduct annual background checks for all current employees.
- The U.S. Department of Transportation requires that companies employing drivers with commercial driver’s licenses conduct random drug tests throughout employment.
- Healthcare professionals must be screened for sanctions or Medicare/Medicaid fraud.
Take extra precautions with vulnerable populations. Employers serving vulnerable populations may also need to conduct post-hire background screenings. Such employers may include companies with employees who work with children, mentally or physically disabled individuals, and senior citizens.
Follow a schedule. Conducting background screenings at regular intervals makes it difficult for employees to cover up any crimes or detrimental behavior. Random drug tests, as permitted by state law, can help prevent workplace injuries by exposing on-the-job alcohol use or substance abuse.
Screen before promoting. Employers should conduct a post-hire background check when an employee is promoted, receives a significant change in job responsibilities, or assumes a position of authority. This is a good time to re-check qualifications, licenses, and educational credentials to make sure the employee will be able to handle the new job requirements outlined by your company policy.
Make sure the screening is FCRA compliant. The federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) protects employees against the improper use of their consumer information. In order to comply with the FCRA, employers must inform the employee of any adverse actions that may result from information obtained during a post-hire background check. A review of your pre-hire disclosure/consent form is also in order, to ensure that it allows for screening at any time during the employee’s tenure.
You should consult with your legal counsel when creating post-hire screening programs as state laws regarding post-hire screening may vary considerably. For example, in the state of California a new consent form must be signed with each consumer report an employer obtains. Additionally, drug testing current employees without reasonable suspicion (as in the case of random screening) is prohibited in some states unless required by industry regulation.
Conduct a comprehensive screening. Some companies only conduct abbreviated background screenings, such as annual drug testing, after a person begins employment. You may also want to include a motor vehicle check, credit check, credential check, and/or criminal records search to ensure your employees continue to meet the standards required for their positions.
An experienced background screening provider can assist your company with implementing a post-hire background screening program. As an experienced and accredited background screening provider, InfoMart can assist you in creating and conducting comprehensive post-hire background check programs that are also compliant with federal, state, and local laws.
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Have you reviewed your pre-employment background check policies and procedures lately? You can use our Screening Program Annual Checklist to ensure your screening process is comprehensive and compliant.