Is the First Background Check Enough?
Background checks are a great place to start when it comes to reducing risk. However, should it just stop at the initial check? While it may be a nice notion to believe all employees can simply be trusted in their personal and professional lives, this isn't always the case. Naturally, some elements fall outside of the control or view of the employer such as what an individual does in their leisure time - in this case, any criminal activity or negative behaviors could tarnish an organization's brand, culture, and people.
While the first background check may have been thought of as a set and forget activity in the past, in today’s dynamic and fast paced working world, this isn’t always enough. The workforce of today is dynamic, and so are the risks businesses face. From internal fraud, workplace violence or a criminal record gained during employment that may compromise an employee's position - the warning signs may already be there. If they’re spotted early, it could make all the difference - and that’s where rescreening plays an essential role. But what exactly is rescreening? In this article, we explore the basics of rescreening - such as what it is, why it’s done, and the checks you should be aware of.
What is Rescreening?
Rescreening is an ongoing and periodic check conducted throughout the employment of an individual - this set period of time is determined by the organization, the company's screening policy, and the industry/role in question depending on the level of risk. It’s common for this to occur 2 to 3 years into the tenure of an employee, or in cycles such as every 6 months or every year. This provides organizations with the opportunity to refresh and update an employee's record during the defined period. Rescreening is often observed among start-up and technology firms, as they work with confidential information and proprietary software, therefore protecting their intellectual property is of paramount importance.
While rescreening may be a new concept for you, it’s familiar and mandated within regulated sectors such as financial services, or healthcare - and rightly so, as these are critical industries where people’s lives and financial well-being depend upon it - any negligence could have disastrous implications. As reported within our Guide ‘The Need for Periodically Screening and Re-screening Your Existing Employees with Background Checks’, in 2020, at the peak of the pandemic, a CXO of a renowned investment firm was found guilty of insider trading. Consequently, this resulted in checks for all employees at the organization. Veremark’s 2022 State of Discrepancies Report reveals that within the financial services sector, there are an average of 7 checks per candidate, and the top 5 discrepancies identified include CV gaps, past employment falsifications, conflict of interest, criminal records and discrepancies in civil checks.
Reasons to Rescreen?
Where it’s not mandated, responsible employers are leveraging rescreening as a best practice approach to maximize their protection and minimize risk. Taking a proactive approach to the risks, can alert your organization of any early threats that can occur, such as embezzlement, conflicts of interest, fraud, theft and violent behavior. These are some of the main reasons organizations choose to rescreen:
- Breaks in employment or furlough - During the pandemic more than one in four workers were furloughed in the UK alone according to the BBC, employers may wish to account for these periods where there is an increased element of risk.
- Mergers or acquisitions - In this case existing employees are treated as ‘new’ and are subject to the same level of checks as a new starter.
- Promotions - For example, an employee may change to a new department e.g. from Customer Service to Finance, which may involve dealing with monetary transactions, or viewing sensitive information.
- Checking for up-to-date qualifications - Competencies and credentials need to be kept up to date to ensure employees can carry out their duties, efficiently and lawfully.
- Employee Relocation - If your employee is moving to a new country you may wish to rescreen to comply with local laws and company policies in the new destination.
- Tendering for new contracts - During a project tendering process certain clients may require checks so that you’re considered for business.
Regardless of the industry you’re operating within, rescreening should be a serious consideration for all - demonstrating your organization is stringent, has robust processes in place to hire and attract the right person - this tends to cover baseline screenings such as criminal record checks and more recently social media checks which have grown in popularity. These ensure that any questionable social media statements or remarks are flagged to the employer, for more informed hiring decisions.
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