Best Practices for Background Checks in 2021

In today’s article we will review some of the best practices for background checks in 2021. Here at IntelliMasters we’ve seen our clients hugely impacted by the sweeping changes due to the covid crisis. The most severely affected industries in early 2020 were leisure facilities, airlines, oil and gas drilling, apparel retail, home furnishing retail and casinos.

Now that we are at the finish line of 2021 with some of those businesses reopening, the hiring trend in those industries is on the up again, albeit gradual. Many businesses are having to recruit new staff because so many were laid off or lost during the closures. Here’s how w

e are helping businesses with their recruiting, along with some information about the latest hiring trends.

Are You Automating Your Hiring Process?

If you are still processing applications manually you are probably spending vast amounts of time and human resources going through applications when you could be streamlining the process with automation technology.

As a pre-employment screening partner to organizations processing thousands of applications at a time in a variety of industries, we use a diverse range of industry-specific platforms or Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to automate recruiting and advise our clients on the best software solutions to help them capture and retain the most suitable recruits. 

Applicant Tracking Systems are suitable for organizations of any size, from small to medium businesses to large corporations. They are also relatively inexpensive compared to the costs of manually processing applications.

Consider Continuous Monitoring

Employee screening shouldn’t stop after hiring. Monitoring employees after you have hired them is essential to maintain corporate integrity and ensure your company is not put at risk by employees engaging in criminal activities.

As an employer, you’ll know that even if you have a disruptive employee that is creating a toxic working environment, you can’t just turn around and fire him or her without repercussions or paying compensation unless you have a good reason backed up with evidence. Continuous monitoring or background checks are an excellent early warning system to help you know whether employees have acquired a criminal record or perhaps an illegal drug habit since starting their employment.

Avoid Negligent Retention Lawsuits

Continuous monitoring employees for things like drugs and drinking offences is especially pertinent for driving jobs and other work where safety is paramount to minimize risks to other employees, customers and the general public. In fact, companies are legally responsible for ensuring that their employees are not a danger to others. If you don’t, you risk negligent retention lawsuits if an employee causes injury to others that could have been prevented with continuous background screening.

The best way to avoid negligent retention lawsuits is to implement regular screening measures such as regular criminal record checks and drug tests for current staff and keep records of your checks and the results. Ensure your staff are informed of these measures and if you become aware of any staff members involved in criminal activity then take appropriate action to halt it.

Maintain Compliance

Compliance with privacy laws when recruiting is one of the most complex aspects of the background screening process. You are probably well aware of data protection laws and the Fair Credit Reporting Act but regulations are continually changing in individual states and at local levels within states. Two relatively new ones are ‘Ban the Box’ and the ‘Salary History Ban’. Both of these are aimed at preventing employers from discriminating against job candidates.

Ban the Box

Ban the Box has been adopted by more than half of all US states and continues to gain momentum, prohibiting the tick box on application forms asking job applicants whether they have a criminal record. The reason for banning the box is to prevent applicants being judged by prospective employers based on petty crimes, especially misdemeanours, which may not be at all related to an individual’s professionalism and shouldn’t be the sole reason that would prevent them getting a job.

Salary History Ban

Nineteen states in the US have so far adopted the Salary History Ban since 2017. The aim of the salary history ban is to prohibit employers from asking applicants about their previous salaries, which are traditionally less for women than for men and therefore avoid the risk of any discrimination against applicants based on gender.

Get Quick Turnaround Times on Criminal Background Checks

As the world gets back to work following masses of business closures in 2020, hiring new staff is a priority but doing it right with proper background screening checks is also essential. Recruiting for a large corporation is resource intensive and can take a few months to go through all the applications before eventually making the decision to hire but using a competent background screening agency can reduce that time to just a few days. 

IntelliMasters is an accredited member of the Professional Background Screening Association (PBSA), giving us instant access to thousands of databases to quickly conduct criminal background checks. Our turnaround time for criminal background checks can be as little as a few hours and we typically return results to our clients within two to three days, depending on the extent of the screening required for each candidate.

PBSA accreditation is regularly updated on an annual basis. It requires rigorous on-site audits, examining policy and procedure in six fundamental areas: consumer protection, legal compliance, client education, product standards, service standards and general business practices.

We’ll help you save time, money and resources when recruiting with the assurance that the results are as accurate as possible, helping you avoid the hefty financial risks of bad hires or the possibility of negligent hire lawsuits. Elements of a comprehensive background check extend to narrowing down criminal checks to jurisdiction searches by scouring up to 3,000 databases across the US. We’ll also include an alias name search and address history as well as making sure the checks comply with local and federal privacy regulations. 

Is Background Screening Worth the Investment?

Investing in a comprehensive screening program is likely to increase your recruitment budget by about 10% but doing so should see at least a 20% reduction in staff turnover, because you are hiring more suitable staff in the first place. You can also expect to save more than 30% of your overall hiring and training costs in the long run.

Contact us for a free consultation and we’ll advise you on the most economical options for your hiring requirements in your industry.