3 Things You Can Do if Employee Background Screening Isn’t Keeping Up Your “Quick and Cost-Efficient Hiring” Gameplan

Here’s the big problem — the time it takes to conduct a background check on an employee is being compromised by the nature, availability, and authenticity of the sources, including the restrictions placed on them.

Most businesses today are grappling with a slew of new hiring challenges they’re not totally familiar with.

Challenges, such as setting up frameworks for remote (or hybrid) working models, seasonal hiring of contractual employees in specific industries, recruiting competent and skilled manpower at breakneck speeds when the need arises, and coordinating such recruitment strategies at a time when economic recession and inflation are at their highs can be overwhelming for any organisation.

Unfortunately, uncontrollable or unpredictable events will have affected routine hiring processes regardless of the industry you’re affiliated to, how your organisation is run, and the location where it’s based out of.

With all that’s happening, a majority of organisations now need to integrate new employees in a secure and safe manner. But here’s the big problem — the time it takes to conduct a background check on an employee is being compromised by the nature, availability, and authenticity of the sources, including the restrictions placed on them.

Employers who now need to dip into talent market for hiring have to find a way to balance two of their top-tier priorities viz., fill open positions quickly and cost-efficiently, and minimise vulnerabilities that stem from inadequate or inefficient employee background checks.

Given below are some of the methods you can adopt to strike the perfect balance between risk management and efficient hiring.

Method #1 Verify Those Who Are Already on Your Payroll

Let’s set aside new hires for a moment and focus on employees who are already on your payroll. They may not have been screened at all, or a basic verification may have been conducted when they first joined your organisation.

Today, companies want to minimise as much risk as possible, especially when it concerns information, data, operations and the safety of your entire workforce. Now that work is transitioning between in-office, remote and hybrid, it’s all the more important to perform background screening, for both new and old employees.

But keep in mind that screening your current workforce isn’t the same as vetting fresh hires. Even if you have pre-existing information on their backgrounds, you have to find out if it is up to date. You might want to start the verification process with employees who have complete access to sensitive information and trade secrets, or those who occupy roles that are considered “high-risk” positions.

Method #2 Tweak Your Existing Employee Verification Process

There are many ways to go about employee background screening. You could get all the information right at the source (from the candidate) when you get it, or work with whatever little you acquire and then carry out more comprehensive checks later, or get it from an external third-party vendor.

That said, the first way, wherein you acquire information and verify it right there and then is the tried-and-tested recipe, one that most organisations are accustomed to. Having said that, you might want to consider tweaking your verification process, especially when there is a delay in the retrieval of information or the unavailability of data.

Not that you want to, but have to because delays and unavailability have severely impacted turnaround times and put the brakes on your hiring velocity. Slightly altering your verification process in the short term, or when the need arises, can be beneficial as candidates can provide the supporting documents when you need it, which you can use to speed up verification.

You can always go back to comprehensive checks to vet the information when the primary source provides its own references or opens completely.

Method #3 Prolong Probationary Period for New Joinees

Extending the probation period for new joinees is also something worth considering, especially when you have little to no face-to-face interaction with your employees or there isn’t a well-defined probation policy in place.

With the source broken or unavailable, you can also insert certain clauses into your standard employment contract, such as mandating a background check at the end of probation. This process, termed as rescreening, will help you carry out different types of checks which you couldn’t process initially or audit information which you’ve already vetted.

At this stage, you can even tie in additional checks, such as those for medical, credit, and/or criminal track record for extra risk mitigation. Remember “high-risk” positions from Method #1 up top? Rescreening and extended probationary periods become critical (and helpful) in mitigating the risks they might pose.

What’s more, setting up a rescreening policy and extending probationary periods can help your organisation keep a check on potential threats at all times.

In conclusion, organisations need to integrate new employees in a safe manner without hurting hiring velocity. With your background verification partner, you can ensure swift and cost-efficient background verification (and hiring) by taking steps, such as conducting supplementary checks for credit history, criminal background, to name a few, and making tweaks to your hiring policies and employment contracts.

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