Blog Reviews

Trending: Continuous Background Screening Becomes a Reality in the Workplace

-Brad Brigham, President, Risk Assessment Group

Human Resources professionals are no stranger to quickly advancing trends in technology, especially as they relate to quick and reliable data. What we were seeing as simple discussion topics just a few months ago have quickly transformed into a new product for our industry.

We realized that addressing the implications of Continuous Background Checks (or Ongoing Background Checks) would be an industry priority after the many conversations my team had with HR professionals in Las Vegas at the 2019 Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Conference in June.

This technology is evolving quickly and making the retrieval and posting systems faster and more accessible with each passing day. I believe this evolution in technology and services is one of the most significant we’ve seen in the last decade

Legal Ramifications vs. Due Diligence

It’s critical to understand the individual state laws pertaining to Continuous Monitoring. While the FCRA allows the initial disclosure and authorization forms to allow for and cover consent for continuing or ongoing background checks during employment – there are some states taking a harder look at this situation. California for example requires a new consent form each time a search is performed.

However, post hire solutions are no longer just discussion points, they’re available avenues for companies to explore, and I believe they represent the future of our screening industry.

Liability issues will be argued as this becomes mainstream for employers and raises many questions. If you hire an employee and perform the initial background check, could you, as an employer be held liable if you never go back during his 5 or 10 years of employment to see if he’s still qualified for a position of trust with the public or other employees? Violent or high-profile crimes committed by existing employees is nothing new. So, with the tools available now to double check on a 2-3 year time cycle, would it benefit companies in protection from victim lawsuits?

Almost all of the crimes committed after someone gets hired, currently go undetected by that employer. Having a Continuous Screening program in place now gives those companies the ability to discover what’s happened since they hired that employee.

Beyond High Risk Industries & Impacts to Company Culture

Regularly scheduled background screenings are an industry standard for high-risk positions, such as doctors, pilots, teachers – really anyone who is responsible for the safety of the public or children. Transitioning those standards to include other types of jobs will need to be an ongoing internal discussion. Not just for the legal ramifications, but for the effect on company culture and internal policies and procedures.

Based on experience, I believe that's a conversation that needs to begin now. Risk Assessment Group is keeping an eye on this ongoing trend, and we’ll keep you informed as this issue further impacts our industry. As always, we’re here if you’d have any questions or would like us to help you begin the conversation at your company.

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