Ongoing Employee Monitoring Is Essential for Safety Improvements

By Michael Klazema on 3/19/2020

Second chances are significant, but they must not come at the expense of safety and security. Striking this balance is the challenge that many businesses are facing today as more cities and states adopt ban the box and second chance laws. Combined with a drastically low unemployment rate compared to a decade ago, hiring managers face a perfect storm—they must consider a broader pool of applicants, but they may not feel that they can use the same high degree of selectivity that they once did. 

Pre-employment considerations, including a criminal history report such as the US OneSEARCH by, still have a crucial role to play. Even in ban the box jurisdictions, criminal background checks are not outlawed; employers are instead asked to consider past concerns in context with current conduct. 

There are many opportunities to identify talent among the substantial number of previously-incarcerated applicants. How can a business balance implementing fair hiring policies with fostering a safe environment where risks receive appropriate management? 

A recent story in HRM America noted the increasing reliance on routine employee monitoring practices. A background check that provides a snapshot of an individual's record at the point of hiring is useful at that moment, but it may not be as helpful six months or a year later. Ongoing background monitoring alerts an employer to new issues quickly and allows for intervention before the information impacts the workplace.

Watching an individual's criminal record for changes or additions is one form of employee monitoring. Periodic credit checks may prove useful for the identification of new financial pressure that could motivate a white-collar crime.

Ongoing monitoring requires employee consent, but it may still feel intrusive if employees do not feel that they are a part of the process. Creating a culture of safety within a company is an important step in improving the effectiveness of any risk management procedure. When HR can step in to provide alternatives or solutions to help an employee address issues that arise after hiring, these procedures may feel more collaborative than punitive. In severe cases, a monitoring program will make it clear when separation from a staff member is the best course of action for the business. 

As the cornerstone of a robust protection system for the modern workplace, ongoing background monitoring requires appropriate technology and experienced support to provide solutions at any scale. provides a suite of advanced tools that are ideal not only for pre-employment screenings but also as part of a post-hiring watchdog process. 

By identifying potential issues in the workplace before they become serious problems, businesses can protect themselves and their employees while continuing to expand opportunities for job-seekers.

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