Screening prospective employees to find out if they’re the right fit for your business is commonplace, but employee suitability shouldn’t stop at just the initial hiring process.
According to CEO at ‘know your people’ (pre-employment screening, verification and workforce compliance) technology company Kinatico, Michael Ivanchenko, by not regularly screening your employees, you could be exposing your business to unnecessary risk.
“Businesses that do not conduct regular ongoing background screening can miss the warning signs that an employee is no longer competent to remain in their role or is unsuitable for an upcoming promotion,” Ivanchenko said.
“Background checks are a no-brainer. You want to ensure candidates are who they say they are. But after you’ve hired someone – you should be re-screening them on a regular basis.”
“While someone’s education credentials and previous employment history will remain constant throughout their career, it’s possible that other things may shift.”
“I would advise all businesses to really give serious thought to ‘who’ is working for you long-term.”
Ivanchenko said having people in your business who have lied about their background, or their qualifications is serious, potentially criminal, and can have huge ramifications for the businesses who employed the individual.
“An employee’s criminal, driving and financial records can change over time, and in many instances, this won’t impact the ability of the individual to carry out their role,” Ivanchenko said.
“But what would happen if a financial advisor at your business went bankrupt and didn’t disclose this information?”
“While we usually focus on the price paid by the individual at fault, a business can still suffer significant brand damage, even if they’re found not to have breached any laws and did the right thing by reporting a crime as soon as they became aware of it.”
Ivanchenko said if your business failed to carry out ongoing background screening, you could be putting your clients (and possibly their investment) in jeopardy, with you being potentially liable for any fallout. He said obligations for a business includes:
- Providing a safe working environment: It is an employer’s duty to protect the interests of clients, stakeholders and staff. Employers are responsible for maintaining a safe working environment, including ensuring all employees are appropriately screened on a regular basis. One-off checks before an individual is hired will not suffice long term, as any changes to their criminal or financial history, for example, may not be uncovered until it is too late. Government regulations within specific industries are also important. If found to be non-compliant – such as not conducting the appropriate level of screening, or not re-screening employees regularly – then hefty fines, reputational damage or prosecution could result.
- Promotions should always involve re-screening: As well as a background screening policy that covers re-screening, in-house promotion policies are important. Often, the new responsibilities that come with a promotion won’t encompass a specific check that will prevent the individual from getting the position. But it may uncover a problem in the original hiring process, such as a criminal conviction that impacts their ability to do their job safely, or a bankruptcy that affects the trading license of a business. Another example is an aged-care worker applying for a more senior role – this new position may require them to drive a business car to collect and return residents to the facility. When joining the business initially, there was no need for a driver’s licence check, since the employee had no driving duties. Or they did have that check, but in the years since they have had their licence suspended. Not completing a re-screening check like this can be devastating for both the business, and the safety of the facility’s residents.
- Different checks for different industries and duties: Businesses will need to work with their hiring managers and HR team to determine the order – and frequency – of ongoing checks. (Common background checks are at the end of the release.
Common background checks include:
Driving Licence and Traffic Checks
For driving-based roles where companies need to ensure employees are still licensed and have a solid driving history.
Working with Children Check
In Australia and New Zealand, it’s mandatory for people working in the paid and volunteer children’s workforce to complete a Working with Children Check every three years (or Children’s Worker Safety Check as it’s known in New Zealand). It is illegal to engage anyone in child-related work if they don’t have a valid check.
VEVO Visa and Work Entitlement Check
Work entitlements may change over the course of an individual’s employment, so a quick check can provide verification. Likewise, an employee’s visa status will probably change over the course of their employment – failing to comply with TSS Visa conditions could see your business face significant fines.
Whether it’s a National Police Check, an AFP Check or a Criminal Record Check (NZ), regular screening will give you the relevant insight you need to ensure the appropriate people are in their roles.Credit, Financial and Business
Particularly for customer-facing companies that manage clients’ finances, bankruptcy and anti-money laundering (AML) checks can be a valuable tool in maintaining your brand’s reputation, and ensuring you continue to comply with industry and government regulations.
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