Transportation organizations responded to a survey of common employment background screening practices, revealing the biggest screening challenges and business challenges they face over the next 12 months. The main findings of the survey were compiled in Transportation Spotlight.
Employer responses indicate what transport employers are doing well and highlight some gaps that could greatly improve the background screening process.
What are the biggest business challenges?
Cost-cutting and finding and retaining quality talent are two of the business challenges reported by transportation employers. Weathering the recession, maintaining compliance and providing a safe and secure work environment were the top five business challenges reported by survey respondents.
These operational issues show that when conducting background checks, transportation employers are looking for affordable solutions to provide quality staff, ensure compliance and promote workplace safety and security.
What are the biggest screening challenges?
When it comes to specific screening challenges, transport organizations reported that the top three challenges they faced were conducting previous employment verification, compliance, and shortening the duration of employment.
Below we review the first three screening challenges and offer advice and best practices for transportation employers to better address each challenge in the coming year.
Challenge #1: Previous proof of employment
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires employers to review the three-year employment history of all regulated workers.
Based on experience with fire backtracking, transportation employers who perform manual employment verification will experience slow response times and may experience incomplete or inaccurate information. In addition to regulatory fines, failure to complete thorough prior employment verification can lead to poor recruitment, which increases the risk of violence, theft, drug and alcohol abuse, fraud and negligence.
Recommended Employment verification best Practices:
Fireback's proprietary DAC employment history file contains over 5.7 million historical employment records from over 2,500 automotive operators. The database contains Department of Transportation (DOT) and FMCSA compliance information, including dates of employment, positions, reemployment status, and termination details.
The DAC employment History file also provides previous drug and alcohol tests and accident history. If the applicant's previous employers have not been added to the employment history file, fireback will follow up with manual information requests from those employers.
Challenge #2: Compliance
The risk of non-compliance involves severe financial penalties. FMCSA record-keeping fines start at $500 per day and can reach $10,000 for willful falsification of records. Negligence hiring claims can result if the motor carrier or its driver is involved in an accident and there is no audit trail to show compliance screening.
In a recent trucking accident case, a commercial driver caused serious injury to the plaintiff. The driver did not disclose previous incidents on his job application and the employer did not comply with FMCSA regulations when hiring truck drivers. The total amount awarded to the plaintiffs in the case was $581,000.
Recommended best practices to help ensure compliance:
Changing state, federal, and industry regulations require transportation organizations to keep abreast of changes and update their background screening procedures accordingly. Choose fully compliant and automated background screening solution providers to bridge any gaps in screening that could result in hefty fines or litigation. When a company works with an on-demand employment screening provider, it typically benefits from an in-house compliance team and product expertise with years of screening experience.
Challenge #3: Recruitment time
Transportation organizations with efficient screening processes will be able to vet candidates and provide quotes more quickly than their competitors. As a result, employers who hire the fastest often attract the best candidates in the market. But no organization is willing to sacrifice compliance and risk mitigation to increase their hiring rate.
Recommended best practices for improving employment time:
According to Transport Focus, 87% of transport employers still handle screening and recruitment paperwork manually, so it's no surprise that hiring time remains the biggest challenge. On-demand background filtering solution providers (such as fireback tuning) are fully automated and simplify dozens of searches in one place.
It can combine transport-specific solutions such as DAC employment history documentation and Commercial Driver license Information System Plus with general background screening solutions to exceed industry compliance and risk mitigation standards, all within a competitive time frame.