According to the 2020 Employment Screening Benchmarking Report, 90% of the organizations surveyed said they do not expect to lay off employees over the next 12 months. In addition, more than half of organizations expect their work forces to likely increase in the next year (in 2010, only 43% of companies expect to expand their work forces).
While the expected increase in hiring is good news, many employers may not have background screening programs in place to meet this demand.
What does increased hiring mean for background checks?
As hiring heats up again, employers need to know they are hiring the right people, and employers should minimize the compliance, legal and reputational risks that can occur when potentially harmful people slip through the cracks.
With the recent hiring lull, many organizations may have been lax about their background screening programs. However, with hiring expected to increase, now is the time for employers to consider reviewing their current plans.
Employers are advised to conduct a thorough self-review of their existing employment background screening programmes on a regular basis and in anticipation of any workforce expansion. In fact, 42% of the employers surveyed in our benchmark report said they intend to review their employment screening criteria in the next year (more than double the result in 2010).
By implementing a comprehensive background screening program, organizations can reduce the potential risk of costly fines by complying with state, federal, and industry regulations. A thorough background screening program also gives the organization more confidence that it will not hire individuals with certain criminal backgrounds, and employers can reduce possible legal claims and reputational damage.
Background screening 5 areas to monitor in self-audit
Here are five main areas employers should evaluate when conducting internal reviews of their employment background screening programs:
1. The compliance
Each employer has a different regulatory footprint, depending on which state it does business in and whether it is part of a highly regulated sector such as health care, transportation or financial services.
To avoid costly penalties for noncompliance programs, legal and human resources departments should gather at least once a year to evaluate existing and pending state and federal legislation and industry regulations to confirm compliance with their programs at every step of the way. It is also recommended to set up a team to monitor compliance issues and proactively respond to changes in government or industry regulations.
2. The consistency
Self-review can also help identify potentially costly gaps in your current employment background screening program. Proactive organizations can not only find ways to improve the screening process, but also correct any paperwork errors, such as i-9 errors, that can be costly in federal audits.
Employers requiring mandatory drug screening should also check that their employee selection, notification and testing policies are consistent, random and non-discriminatory.
When we surveyed companies on the key hiring screening challenges for 2011, the biggest obstacle reported was shortening the overall hiring time. When done manually by human resources, checking each candidate's information against state and federal databases can seem daunting.
But with the right background screening solution, employers can quickly run multiple background checks on job applicants. Upgrading to an electronic background screening solution enables many employers to centralize and automate multiple layers of screening in a quick and easy process.
4. Risk management
When selecting and evaluating background screening programs, companies should balance the costs and benefits of their screening practices. Organizations must determine the appropriate amount of background screening to meet their hiring standards and workplace safety standards, and to help them comply with applicable regulations and hire the best talent.
If an organization's costs and time are increased by adding layers of additional screening, but the organization is not aware of any real benefits of risk mitigation, it may wish to simplify its plans in the future.
Integration of 5.
How well are the components of the background filter integrated with other software and systems? If human resources is entering data into multiple locations, it may be time to upgrade to a better integrated electronic filtering solution.
Lack of integration leads to longer screening processes and may increase the opportunity for human error. If an organization is audited and there is no uniform screening audit trail, this can also negatively impact audit results.
Constant changes in legislation, regulations and technology require a proactive and agile approach to background screening. Lax background checks can result in hefty fines from regulators or damaging lawsuits or brand damage. By evaluating your employment screening program against these five key areas, you will be better able to meet screening needs as recruitment improves.