Background investigations are essential for a number of reasons. At their core, background checks are intended to investigate an individual’s past and shine light on anything questionable or problematic. For employers, these investigations often involve a verification of alleged educational or vocational qualifications. Knowing whether a potential hire has what it takes to make it in your company’s culture is important. Verifying that they are who they say they are and that they don’t have any blemishes on their record is even more critical.
Once an employee is brought onboard, their status is often considered fairly stable, and additional background checks might never be conducted. There are a variety of reasons this is far from ideal.
- Learning about extracurricular activities.
Regular screenings of your employees, even ones that have been onboard and valuable assets to the business for a great deal of time, is a smart move. You never know what your employees might be doing outside of business hours that could have a negative impact on your business. What if an employee has taken on a second job for a competitor and hasn’t reported it to HR? Difficulties with the law, such as traffic violations or drug infractions, may also be a concern, especially for some sorts of companies. Without violating the privacy of your employees (you still need to disclose that you’re conducting an updated background investigation), it’s a good idea to check in.
- Mitigate your own risk.
It is a good risk mitigation practice to keep tabs on potentially harmful behaviors. Doing so protects your business’s reputation, your customers, and other employees. If your employees are bad-mouthing the company online or on their social media accounts after hours, it could cause your reputation to take a hit. Checking in on their social media accounts, whether formally or informally, can go a long way towards verifying they’re still great assets to the team.
- Ensure a drug-free workplace.
If your employee handbook outlines a policy permitting randomized drug testing, you are within your rights to rescreen employees throughout their tenure with the company. Depending on your line of work, it may be absolutely essential that workers not have any drugs in their system while on the job, so a check of their drug use is important.
- Encourage a positive workplace environment.
Employees often know a great deal about what their coworkers are up to. That doesn’t always mean you’ll hear about it through the grapevine, however. If an employee is engaging in inappropriate behavior, has gotten involved with drugs, or is working another job, their colleagues may know and may feel upset or betrayed. This is especially the case when the employee’s extracurricular activities get in the way of their performance on the job. While colleagues may not come forward or admit their frustration, they may wish that management or HR were checking in on the underperforming worker. By maintaining a policy of rescreening employees periodically, your workplace environment will be one of greater respect all around.
According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), about a quarter of companies conduct post-offer background investigations. Of those, only about 20% conduct annual checks of their employees. Yes, arranging background investigations requires an investment of human resources and money. However, the cost to your company for failure to regularly monitor the behaviors of your employees could be far greater. A little time and money now could save you big down the line.
Want to learn more about background investigations and how they can benefit your company? Alliance Risk Group is ready to help! Contact us today for guidance and to set up background checks for your company.
Are you interested in reading more about background investigations? We invite you to explore our other blog posts and whitepapers here.