A farmer in southern Arizona was recently fined more than $500,000 by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for hiring individuals who were not authorized to work in the United States.
ICE, one of several U.S. regulators, doles out millions of dollars a year to employers who violate I-9 forms and other violations. Depending on the state and industry in which the organization operates, its hiring practices are governed not only by ICE regulations, but also by several other regulatory agencies.
In addition to compliance risk, employers said their top recruiting concerns were poor candidate quality, high employee turnover, workplace accidents, absenteeism, theft and fraud, according to the 2020 Fireback Employment Screening Benchmark report. With reliable background screening programs, employers can maintain compliant hiring practices and address these risks.
Below we discuss in more detail three main ways that comprehensive background screening solutions add value to organizations.
1. Improve regulatory compliance
Employers face multiple layers of oversight during the hiring process. There are state and federal guidelines on issues such as eligibility and discrimination. In industries such as healthcare and financial services, regulatory authorities have developed a number of industry-specific state and federal regulations and licensing and certification issues. Failure to comply with any of these requirements can result in hefty fines or restrictive ongoing audits or probation by regulators.
Ensuring that all compliance requirements are met can be challenging for an already overburdened HUMAN resources department. Every part of the background check, from criminal record searches to credit checks, must be done within strict guidelines to preserve fair employment practices and avoid discrimination claims. Automated background screening solutions can better reduce compliance and litigation risk by providing reminders and parameters and simplifying regulatory requirements for workers in an intuitive view.
2. Improve security
Another benefit of health background screening programs is the ability to identify potentially harmful individuals in the applicant pool. By conducting drug testing and state and national criminal, credit and sex offender searches, employers can better identify and investigate any red flags in a candidate's history. Health care organizations also want to examine industry sanctions and medical malpractice incidents to reduce the risk of negligence and maintain compliance with health care authorities.
A thorough review of background check reports can also reduce cases of job fraud, negligence, theft, drug use, violence and abuse. All of these negative actions can lead to fines, costly litigation and serious damage to a company's brand. But states have restrictions on how employers must conduct the tests and screening procedures described above. Automated background screening solutions from trusted vendors can bundle all of these screening practices into one system to comply with background reporting requirements.
3. Reduce employee turnover
In our benchmark report, the poor overall quality of recruitment was one of the most common problems employers sought to correct. High employee turnover is closely followed by high relative employee turnover.
The right background screening policies can help employers avoid the time and cost of making bad hiring decisions and dealing with the resulting employee turnover. During the hiring process, employers may consider the results of drug tests, criminal and sex offender screenings, and even credit history checks. This information can be used to better assess the integrity of the applicant. Targeted background screening methods will quickly eliminate workers who have a history of harmful or negligent behavior or are likely to repeat it on the job.