For years, the norm in background checks has been to use them as a form of pre-employment screening. Employers interested in hiring a person get that person’s consent to run a background check (in compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act), conduct the screening, and make a hiring decision based on what they find. If a person got hired, they were often in for good as far as repeat background checks were concerned.
According to a report from MoneyControl.com, repeat background checks, or “re-screenings,” are slowly becoming the norm. Some countries—India, in particular—are early adopters of re-screening, and employers in other parts of the world are expected to follow in their footsteps. In India, only 44 percent of employers don’t re-screen their employees after hiring them. Re-screening is especially common in the information technology and banking and finance industries.
How re-screening works will depend on the company, the industry, the job, and the circumstances. Employees can take comfort in knowing employers cannot conduct these repeat background checks without consent. The rules of the FCRA still apply—both for consent and for adverse employment action—and employees must re-consent to every fresh background check that happens after they get hired.
In some situations, employers will set up repeat background check policies based primarily on timing. They might update their background checks every three or five years to make sure they have up-to-date information about their employees on record. These repeat background checks are especially useful for criminal screening, as a criminal history check is only a snapshot of a person’s criminal background at that moment in time. By re-screening an employee, businesses can check for new criminal offenses that may have occurred since that person was hired.
Employers might use re-screening to make sure an employee is keeping up with certification requirements. Some certifications or licenses lapse if ongoing educational requirements aren’t met or if the employee neglects to renew them. Employers cannot take these certifications for granted, in other words—especially since many of them are legally required for people to perform certain jobs. To avoid the legal risk of employing someone who is not licensed to perform the job at hand, some employers will conduct regular verification checks of employee certifications.
At backgroundchecks.com, we already have a service in place to help businesses adapt to the world of repeat background checks. With our ongoing criminal monitoring program, you can screen your employees not just every year or every five years, but every month. 12 times per year, we will screen your employees through our US OneSEARCH multi-jurisdictional database. If any new criminal conviction hits come up during our monitoring, we will notify you immediately so you can take appropriate action.