Employee Background Checks Are Not A One-N-Done. Annual Background Checks Are A Must!
As employee background checks continue to evolve and become more useful, many employers remain stuck using the old narrative that, if the original employee background check that is conducted at the time of hire is good, the employee is approved forever. But what happens if something happens while they are your employee? Let’s assume that whatever happens is bad enough that you would not hire someone for that job today if they have that in their background?
This prompts smart employers to do less extensive, but badly needed annual background checks on current employees. These are particularly important to do if you hire workers who deal with the public, with finances, who visit client locations or homes, who drive as part of their work, or any who work with vulnerable individuals like the elderly, children or impaired people. A great way to implement annual background checks is to set them up to occur just before annual employee reviews or at year end. Both approaches are easy to explain to employees and to track. As always, it is important to perform the same type of employee background checks on every employee with the same job. Employers can change the elements of those checks from one type of employee to another, however, they should treat everyone performing the same job the same way. Keep in mind that annual background checks are usually less expensive than the employee background checks conducted at the time of hire, because searches like education verification, employment history verification and confirming identity of the applicant should not normally have to be repeated.
Often times, employers will include annual drug screening with the annual background checks which can be helpful, but if the schedule for these tests is known, may allow a bad apple employee to engage in prohibited drug use during the year, but abstain just prior to the test to circumvent discovery.
As we move forward, the next innovation is to continuously monitor employee backgrounds and report activity as soon as it registers with courts, credit bureaus, etc. This is a great option, but it involves and greater cost for the employer and may be overkill for many positions or companies.