In the time-driven, highly competitive staffing industry, where margins are tight, operating efficiently and cost-effectively is critical. Equally important is placing qualified candidates swiftly, which involves comprehensive screening to mitigate risk.
Organizations conduct pre-employment screening to keep their workplace safe, to be in compliance with applicable regulations and to avoid negligent hiring legal action. But what are an organization's responsibilities surrounding those same issues with its existing workforce?
As tempting as it may be to cut corners to save money, especially in a stalled economy, being fiscally responsible requires long-term thinking. For example, saving a few dollars on background screening by using only data base searches, rather than primary source verification, can easily result in substantial fines and a tarnished reputation in the future.
According to a July 2010 article in USA Today, colleges and universities are relying on or considering student background checks as part of the admissions process as a result of campus violence in recent years. The standard had been to ask prospective students if they had committed a crime in self-disclosure questions, on their application or on the Common Application.
The practice of including credit checks as part of an applicant background screening process is one of the most debated issues surrounding the background screening industry and the hiring process. Although the use of credit checks has been an acceptable screening tool for more than 40 years, the issue came to the forefront with the proposal of the Equal Employment for All Act (H.R. 3149 111th Congress, July, 9, 2009).
A recent unprecedented examination of the nursing home industry, conducted by the federal Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS,) surveyed hundreds of nursing homes around the country to find that 92 percent of them employed at least one worker with a criminal conviction. Perhaps even more disturbing is the fact that almost half of all nursing home facilities in the country employ five or more people with at least one conviction each.
In the fast-paced world of recruitment and staffing the reluctance to add another layer to the on-boarding process is understandable. But one wrong placement could result in a negligent hiring lawsuit, damage your hard-earned professional reputation and even put you out of business.
The applicant interviewed well, his references were positive and he seems like a good choice. Looks like it's time to make an offer. Not so fast. Have you conducted a thorough background check or made it clear that employment is conditional based on the results of a background check? If not you're leaving your organization wide open to liability.
The temptation to perform only basic background screening required or conducting only the most perfunctory background screening and credentialing for physician recruitment to save money can be strong. It may seem like a good way to save time and money, however, these shocking statistics illustrate the need for comprehensive screening.