April 18, 2018

Background Checks - Is Once Really Enough?


 

Most businesses these days will undertake background checks for new employees, but many still neglect to rescreen existing employees. This could have an adverse effect on the company and expose them to reputational risk.
 
For example, a criminal check becomes outdated 24 hours after it is conducted as the criminal database is updated daily. There have been instances where someone has passed a criminal check only to offend a month later and the business is completely unaware of this.
 
If a member of staff incurs a conviction, employers would like to believe they would inform the company. Unfortunately, in many instances staff keep it a secret and hope the company won’t find out.
 
This is one reason why it’s important for organisations to undertake regular checks on employees – particularly those whose position could cause significant harm to the company.
 
For example, an employee in the finance department who has access to the company bank accounts may be experiencing financial difficulties in their personal life that they have not shared with the company. The continued access to company bank accounts could cause significant problems.
 
An annual financial probity check would review all publicly-held financial information and would unearth any undisclosed County Court judgements (CCJs), Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVAs), bankruptcies or trust deeds.
 
Another example – and one that is becoming more popular – is to regularly check the validity of the driving licences for employees hired as drivers.
Imagine if one of your drivers were to have an accident and it comes to your attention that a month earlier their license was suspended due to a drink driving conviction?
 
Some companies now check every six months to ensure that their drivers are fit to drive. Certain insurance companies insist this is done before they provide cover.
 
As an employer, you need to assess whether regular background checks on employees are required. Based on the nature of your business, will annual checks help prevent financial and reputational damage?
 
If the answer is yes, don’t just rely on a one-time snapshot of an employee’s history during the hiring process. Rescreening needs to become a key component of your robust and transparent background checks.

 

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