Ongoing background screening: Why your company needs it

There is no understating the value an employee can bring to an organisation. Hiring the right talent can boost company culture and add significantly to your bottom line.

But – to ensure this positive impact continues, due diligence is needed.

Businesses that do not conduct regular ongoing background screening can miss the warning signs that an employee is no longer competent to remain in their role or is unsuitable for an upcoming promotion.

Let’s dive a little deeper…

So – why re-screen?

Background checks are a hiring no-brainer. After all, you want to ensure candidates are who they say they are. But what about after you’ve hired someone – should you be re-screening them on a regular basis?

While someone’s education credentials and previous employment history will remain constant throughout their career, it’s possible that other things may shift. An employee’s criminal, driving and financial records can change over time, and in many instances, this won’t impact the ability of the individual to carry out their role.

However – what would happen if a financial advisor at your company went bankrupt and didn’t disclose this information? If your organisation fails to carry out ongoing background screening, you could be putting your clients (and possibly their investment) in jeopardy, with you being potentially liable for any fallout.

You have an obligation to provide a safe working environment

It is your duty as an employer to protect the interests of your clients and stakeholders, as well as your staff. You are responsible for maintaining a safe working environment, which includes ensuring all your employees are appropriately screened on a regular basis.

One-off checks before an individual is hired will not suffice over the long term, as any changes to their criminal or financial history, for example, may not be uncovered until it is too late.

It’s also important to consider any government regulations in your industry. If you are found to be non-compliant with these – such as not conducting the appropriate level of screening, or not re-screening employees at regular intervals – then you could face hefty fines, reputational damage or prosecution.

Promotions should always involve re-screening

In addition to establishing a background screening policy that covers re-screening, it’s also recommended that you discuss its importance within in-house promotion policies.

Often, the new responsibilities that come with a promotion won’t be so vast that a specific check will prevent the individual from getting the position. However, in some cases, it may uncover a problem you hadn’t spotted in your original hiring process, such as a criminal conviction that impacts their ability to do their job safely, or a bankruptcy that affects your company’s trading license.

Consider an aged-care worker who is applying for a more senior role. This new position may require them to drive a company car to collect and return residents to the facility. When joining the business initially, maybe there was no need for a driver’s licence check, since the employee had no driving duties. Or perhaps they did have that check, but in the years since they have had their licence suspended.

The consequences of not completing a re-screening check like this can be devastating for both the organisation, and the safety of the facility’s residents.

Different checks are needed for different industries and duties

Each organisation will need to work with its hiring managers and HR team to determine the order – and frequency – of ongoing checks. To get you started, here are some common checks that may be appropriate for regular background screening in your organisation:

  • Driving Licence and Traffic Checks
    For driving-based roles where you need to ensure your employees are still licensed and have a solid driving history.
  • Working with Children Check
    In Australia and New Zealand, it’s mandatory for people working in the paid and volunteer children’s workforce to complete a Working with Children Check every three years (or Children’s Worker Safety Check as it’s known in New Zealand). It is illegal to engage anyone in child-related work if they don’t have a valid check.
  • VEVO Visa & Work Entitlement Check
    Work entitlements may change over the course of an individual’s employment, so a quick check can provide verification. Likewise, an employee’s visa status will likely change over the course of their employment – failing to comply with TSS Visa conditions could see your company face significant fines.
  • National Police Checks
    Even the best talent in your organisation can have a criminal history you don’t know about. Whether it’s a National Police Check, an AFP Check or a Criminal Record Check (NZ), regular screening will give you the relevant insight you need to ensure the appropriate people are in their roles.
  • Credit, Financial and Business History Checks
    Particularly for customer-facing companies that manage clients’ finances, bankruptcy and anti-money laundering (AML) checks can be a valuable tool in maintaining your brand’s reputation, and ensuring you continue to comply with industry and government regulations.

Still unsure?

Ongoing background screening within your organisation ensures that employees are appropriate for their current role, and gives you the peace of mind that your company is equipped with the best possible resources for success.

Contact one of our background screening experts to discuss your re-screening needs today.

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