With pre-employment screening and background checks now becoming the norm, is it time for Human Resource Managers to turn their attention to the ongoing suitability of current employees and put a re-screening programme in place?
How well do you know your employees?
Pre-employment screening is now far more commonplace in the hiring process than ever before and is an embedded part of recruitment for many HR teams. However, companies rarely consider the ongoing suitability of their existing employees, which is just as crucial.
Most businesses are fully aware of the need to carry out an initial background check into who they are looking to employ, but pre-employment screening may not be enough. A false sense of security can be created when companies fail to look at re-screening current staff who already have access to sensitive company information, customers and valuable assets but may have either never had a pre-screen in the first place or have very different circumstance from when they were first employed and screened.
Re-screening should be seen as a key component in building a solid and reliable background screening programme.
So what is re-screening and why should you do it?
Re-screening is the process of screening current employees after they have been employed by you for a period of time and is carried out in addition to the initial background checks that were carried out when that person was first hired. The individuals you hire may not have had anything to declare when you first hired them, but what if their circumstances have changed? What do you need to know, and how would you find out?
Relying solely on pre-employment checks means that you as an employer are only seeing a brief snapshot of an employee’s relevant background. Employers need greater awareness about the importance of not only checking an employee before they join a company but also to think about what they can do to identify any changes to an existing employee’s situation that could potentially impact on their suitability to work for the business. Re-screening can bring to light any important life changes that may affect an employee’s continued suitability to either their existing or future roles within your company.
For example, an employee may have worked at a company for a number of years and worked their way up through to a senior level. The question to ask is: have they gone through any background checking process? Did screening come into effect later in their job cycle? How do you know they are still suitable to work for your business? An employee’s suitability can change for many reasons and it goes beyond just checking criminal records. Consider the impact of the potential change to an employee’s suitability resulting from drug testing, driving records, financial management (e.g. gambling risk) or other licencing credentials and how that would impact on the role they carry out and to your business.
By regularly re-screening your workforce, and making it part of your company policy, you’re ensuring that all staff are legally entitled to carry out their role, as well as checking that they are capable of doing so too.
At what point should you re-screen your employees?
When you re-screen your employees, and the frequency in which you choose to carry out such checks, will vary from business to business, but typical instances are:
· Periodically – Companies often choose to re-screen staff in cycles e.g. once every two years, meaning that within a two-year cycle all employees will have gone through a re-screening process.
· Annually – This is often preferred for more regulated positions within a company, or regulated industries, and where there is a greater need to be able to demonstrate that employees are fit for their role.
· Promotion – Relevant for when an employee’s initial screening is no longer adequate. Maybe an employee has moved from a junior role to a more managerial role with more financial control and further background checks are now appropriate.
· Moving within the business – This would be most relevant for when an employee is moving to a new location abroad, and where an international screening process is required. May also be relevant when a business merges and any initial checks are no longer at the required standard.
Deciding to regularly re-screen your personnel, from board members though to temp staff and introducing high-security standards to your business not only helps identify potential internal threats but also enables you to know more about your employees during their employment lifecycle with your business.
Let us help you!
If you would like to find out more about our re-screening services, please get in touch and we’ll be pleased to help.