Is Continuous Employment Screening on the Rise?
July 28, 2010
Let’s say you have a sales person that regularly drives their vehicle to appointments as a part of their job. When you ran a background check at the time of hire, their driving record was just fine. Well, fast forward two years and their license is now suspended due to a DUI or multiple moving violations. Now, that person causes an accident while on their way to a big appointment and the person in the other vehicle wants to be compensated for the troubles. Of course, they are going to look to your sales person, but there’s a much bigger pocket behind them. Your business, who should have known that the license was suspended.
I recently had a great conversation with Barry Nixon, Chief Operating Officer of the PreemploymentDirectory.com about the prevalence of infinity screening; the concept of performing background checks on existing employees at scheduled intervals throughout their employment. He was doing some research for a follow up article to his original piece on this concept written five years ago and wanted to know if it had really caught on as many of us expected it would.
I’ll leave the lion share of our discussion to Barry, but as we talked about why I believe the concept has only had a tepid response from the marketplace, I had a bit of an epiphany. When we first got into this business in 1999, we would meet with companies large and small and explain not only why they should choose us to conduct their employment background checks, but why they should screen at all. Oftentimes, we heard that they didn’t have any problems with their employees: workplace violence, internal theft, resume fraud, etc. After these meetings we’d say that we would hear from them as soon as they had a negative incident and sure enough, we did.
And while the concept of performing a criminal background check, Motor Vehicle Record Check, etc. on current employees has caught on among some, the same principle applies: the catalyst to drive interest for most will only come after they experience a negative incident or pattern of negative behavior.
While I believe that the concept is indeed a valuable tool for continued risk management, I can’t argue with the attitudes of those sitting on the sidelines. Most of us make buying decisions based on such reactions. Take our example above. If the company experiences loss based on the incident above, they might just be moved to consider such a program.