Should You Re-screen Employees? Interview with Kevin McCrann
Most recruiters and HR professionals know that pre-employment background screening is an important part of the interview process. But what about after the candidate gets the job, how long is the background check valid for?
After the candidate becomes an employee, and depending on the size of the company, they will fall under a different faction of the HR department. One that probably isn’t as fluent in background checks as the recruitment team. Should that impact whether the company has a policy to re-screen employees?
We spoke with Kevin McCrann, President of Accurate Information Systems, to learn more about the option of re-screening employees.
How long is a background check valid for?
A background check is only valid up until the writing of the report. As an example, imagine your candidate has a clean record, you offer them the job, they accept and go out to celebrate. One thing leads to another, they make a bad decision and end up being arrested. Even if that arrest would have impacted your offer, you may never know about it unless you have a policy to re-screen your employees.
How often do you recommend companies re-screen?
It would depend on the job the employee is doing, but ideally, we recommend re-screening employees every 6 months as a part of your due diligence process. Background checks are like insurance; you don’t need it until you need it. Re-screening employees can limit any liability if an incident does occur.
Do most companies re-screen employees?
Most companies don’t although they often have a clause in the employment contract that states the employee must tell their employer if they are arrested or convicted of a crime. As you can imagine, this stated requirement may or may not work depending on the circumstances.
Cost is a logical reason why most companies don’t re-screen their employees. Here’s a creative way to use a rescreening system without increasing the cost. Use a spot check approach for checking a group of randomly selected individuals instead of every single employee.
You don’t need as much information for a re-screening check compared to the initial background check as part of the hiring decision. The work history and formal education will be unchanged. The main goal is to source out new information that might be relevant.
What’s the best way to implement a policy for re-screening employees?
We recommend building out a very well-defined policy and putting it in a place accessible to all employees, such as in the employee manual. The policy should explain clearly what the process is for re-screening, what you are looking for in the checks, and how you will deal with criminal convictions if they occur for current employees. You still need to get consent from the individual before performing the background check. You must also provide a pre-adverse action letter if you decide to terminate them because of the new information.
And finally, it’s a good idea to re-screen your employees every 6 months. My company Accurate Information Systems is available to help clients set up an effective program.