5 Background Screening Tips to Get Back on Track After Covid Lockdown

Unprecedented demand for delivery services during the covid-19 shutdown has spurned massive growth for online retailers, who are hiring hundreds of thousands of new employees worldwide.
Amazon recruited 175,000 new staff in March and April, 2020, boosting the company’s headcount worldwide to 20 per cent more than the same time the previous year. The growth has come at a cost though. Amazon said in April it was temporarily increasing workers’ pay by two dollars worldwide, meaning the company would have to shell out an extra $500 million.
For those businesses that had to shut down but have ridden out the slump, ready to start up again, recruitment is also a priority in the coming months.
Recruitment issues are compounded by the different legislation and regional regulations as companies in different regions attempt to comply with regulations specific to their locality.
Companies usually have at least a month or more to process candidates but with governments updating policies daily, applications and background screening have to be completed within a few days. Here are some tips to help streamline the recruitment process.

1. Define Workforce Requirements

You can streamline the background checks by clearly defining the requirements for each position and respective candidates. If a certain level of education or skill set isn’t required for the vacant position, you can remove education checks from the application process.
The same could apply to jobs which don’t require any driving. In which case you needn’t insist on driving licence checks.

2. Don’t Relax Background Screening Standards for Casual Workers

Even though the people you hire now might be interim or casual workers, screening of them should be rigorous and consistent with the background checks you do for permanent employees.
They all represent the company regardless of their job. Even if you outsource a delivery company or self-employed contractors, they represent your brand in the eyes of the consumer, and the law.
Neglecting to do thorough background checks in a rush to replenish staff could lead to you inadvertently hiring someone with a criminal history that could bring the company into ill repute.

3. Ensure Compliance With Local Legislation

The introduction of new legislation and regulations for the world’s workforce is fraught with confusion. While the World Health Organization makes recommendations, and health industry lobbyists dominate government policy-making decisions, each country is handling the return to work after the covid scare differently. In the United Kingdom, Scotland and Wales are observing sightly different (stricter) pathways to relaxing lockdowns. In the US, each state has its own interpretation of federal advisories. This makes consistent background screening challenging; trying to abide by ad-hoc labour regulations when the definitions and expectations are changing daily.

4. Ensure All Employees Agree With New Workplace Rules

As different countries and states have reacted differently to the covid-19 scare, so has each individual. The climate of fear built up in all facets of society over the past few months is not easily shaken with a simple announcement that we can all go back to work. Companies may or may not follow government guidelines to the letter. Employees may or may not expect or even insist changes in the workplace such as personal space and personal protection equipment.
So whatever new procedures or equipment you implement at the workplace, be sure that all existing and new employees are aware of their working conditions, and that they agree to them.

5. Ensure Contractors Follow Your Background Screening Policy

As mentioned earlier, if you outsource labour or workers from a third party vendor to quickly fill a gap in your workforce, you are indirectly employing people to represent your brand, and they may not have been through the same rigorous screening process as your permanent staff.
Mitigate that risk by stipulating in vendor contracts that the vendor must vet candidates with the same protocol which you use for your permanent employees. If your company uses a background screening service, you can request that your vendors use the same service to ensure consistency and efficiency.