Employment screening must be an on-going process
Let’s start with a scenario. Chong has been a trusted employee for a number of years. One day, his boss discovers funds missing from the office’s petty cash box. Further investigations reveal Chong as the last employee to have access to the funds and after much interrogation, he confesses to be the culprit who stole the money.
Let’s look at another scenario, Sam has been a top-performing Sales Executive for three years. However, he has been late to work, unable to deliver sales targets and generally lacked focus and drive. After a criminal search audit on all staff, the company discovered that Sam has been convicted of drug usage at an entertainment outlet.
The hard truth is that as an employer, we sometimes simply don’t know which employee to put our trust in. This is the reason why many, if not all, reputable organizations carry out pre-employment screening to help mitigate recruiting risks. But in Chong’s case, he passed all his pre-employment screening trials and proved to be a model employee for the five years he’s been with the company until the recent incident
But then again, any employee might start their career with a company with a clean background. There is no guarantee, however, that this will remain the case as time goes by. From drug abuse to racking up gambling debts or even quietly starting a company to compete with the current employer, the list of unfavorable activities can range from the simple to the complex. Such activities are also no longer confined or limited to certain industries and professions.
The answer to strengthening employment risk lies not only in the past, but also in the present. While pre-employment screening on existing staff is one aspect of HR that many employers take lightly.
And this type of screening conducted at regular intervals throughout an employee’s term of employment, is very important in protecting a company’s reputation, assets, customers and employees.
Data revealed in the KPMG Malaysia Fraud, Bribery and Corruption Survey 2013 show a worrying trend. For example, 68% of reported fraud cases experienced by companies were perpetrated internally by management and non-management employees. The majority of survey respondents also believe that fraud (83%), specifically bribery and corruption (90%) is a major problem for businesses in the country.
WHY AND WHEN TO CONDUCT POST EMPLOYMENT SCREENING?
While pre-employment screening is a valuable tool to manage recruitment risks, it only provides a snapshot of details possible at a given time. Post-employment screening on the other hand, allows a company to manage any risk posed by existing employees who no criminal intent when coming on board but whose loyalty may have changed at a later date.
Some other valid reasons to conduct annual post-employment background checks include:
- Employee due diligence – Screening employees can expose threats or vulnerabilities and pre-empt company security issues and corporate crimes, saving a business from potential losses and any damage to its reputation.
- Protecting your business from liability – Failure to spot on potentially dangerous employee through negligent monitoring or a lack of ongoing screening could have serious financial, legal, and reputational consequences for an employer.
- Security – Regular, updated post-employment screenings may determine if there is criminal activity inside or outside the workplace. Employers also have a duty to ensure that employees meet the required job standards and don’t pose a danger to themselves or others.
Post-employment screening works best when done on a regular basis. It’s recommended that every employee is screened based on their job’s risk exposure – the higher their risk, the more relevant checks need to be conducted. In order to maximize cost efficiency, identify the various risk levels and type of checks before you screen everyone. You should always implement post-employment screening every 12 months.
Post-employment screening should also be a priority when an employee moves from a low-risk role to a high-risk one. This is because screening requirements of the new position may differ from the tasks the employee was originally hired for.
While post-employment screening is crucial for your organization, its equally important that these initiatives make for a positive employees’ experience. For example, long-time staff may not welcome this screening or even frown upon a post-employment check. As an employer, however, keep in mind that even one bad apple can affect other staff, jeopardize positions or even bring down an entire company.
There is a need to emphasize that such programs are not intended to find fault, if any, with all employees but only weed out the ones with something to hide. The best way to allay any fears of misconceptions about post-employments screenings is to be transparent and upfront about your intentions.
For starters, explain your reason for such a program and inform employees that any information obtained from the screening will be kept strictly confidential. Stress that that post-employment screening not only protects the organization and customers from wayward employees but secures the financial and personal safety of all other staff. This will allow for a smoother post-employment screening process.
If you are a firm believer in pre-employment screening, then post-employment screening is something you should equally believe in. Not only does it have all the benefits of a pre-employment screening exercise, but is also offers you a mean to continuously safeguard your organizations, staff and customers as your business evolves.
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This article was contributed by MyFreelys Academy’s Partner – Verity Intelligence, an Employee Background Screening Company