What Is a Post-Hire Screening?

You probably already know that pre-employment background screenings protect your business by helping you make more informed hiring decisions. But screening an applicant’s background prior to hiring is only one of many steps your business can take to mitigate risk.

As an employer, you want to have the fullest possible picture of the people you employ—including knowledge of any red flags that may have come up since you first hired them. Post-hire background checks can help you verify that your employees continue to meet your business’s standards of professional conduct, both in and away from the workplace.

Here’s a quick guide to post-employment screenings and how your business can use them to mitigate risk while staying compliant with the law.

Why use post-hire screenings?

If your business already runs thorough background screenings on applicants before hiring, you may think you have reasonably complete knowledge of all of your employees’ backgrounds. But what your employees’ pre-hire screenings won’t tell you is who they’ve become—and what they’ve been doing—since you initially hired them.

Routine background checks can help to ensure that your employees have continued to meet the standards of professional conduct you set when you first hired them.

Suppose an employee has engaged in criminal conduct or started using illicit drugs since accepting their position. In that case, it could pose a threat to workplace safety and may even put you at risk of liability for negligent hiring. Post-employment background checks can screen for these issues and verify that your long-term employees have continued to conduct themselves professionally.

A post-employment screening may also be helpful in cases where an employee is receiving a promotion or moving to a new position at your company. A new job title or set of responsibilities will often require a more stringent set of qualifications, and a post-hire screening may be necessary to ensure your employee is fully qualified for their new position.

What do post-hire background checks screen for?

Post-employment background screenings can check for several issues, and the exact screenings required will depend on your industry and the nature of the position.

However, post-employment screenings can be a valuable way to check for all of the following:

  • Recent criminal convictions
  • Use of illicit drugs
  • Criminal sexual conduct
  • Professional certifications and licenses
  • Educational history
  • Employment experience
  • Traffic violations
  • Other potential red flags

Compliance requirements for post-hire screenings

Although regular post-employment background checks are an effective way to mitigate risk for your business, it’s vital to pursue them in compliance with all applicable laws. Otherwise, your business can open itself up to accusations of discrimination and other legal repercussions. To this end, companies should check their release forms for “evergreen” clauses, which permit screenings to be conducted at any time during employment.

Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), employers must obtain consent from employees before running background screenings. If the employee you’re planning to screen hasn’t already given you written consent to conduct post-employment screenings, you’ll need to obtain this consent before you run a background check. Your consent form must include clear disclosure about all background checks that will be run and give your employees clear information about how the results of these checks will be used.

The FCRA also requires that employees who are subject to post-employment screenings be provided with their background check results, along with a “Summary of Rights” that explains how the background check may be used and their options for accessing and correcting the results.

If a post-hire screening returns information that may affect an employee’s continued employment, there are additional requirements for notifying the employee before pursuing termination or any other punitive action.

Adverse action is any decision taken by your business that may impact an employees’ employment or job status. If a post-employment background check results in your business pursuing adverse action (i.e., firing or otherwise penalizing the employee as a result of issues surfaced by a screening), you must provide them with formal notification known as an adverse action notice.

Once you’ve sent a copy of an employee’s background check, along with your first adverse action notice—known as a pre-adverse action notice—your employee must be given a reasonable amount of time to correct or contest the background check findings. If your business still decides to terminate or otherwise alter their employment after this period has passed, you must then provide the employee with a final notice of adverse action.

Working with an experienced background screening company can help you to ensure that all background checks remain compliant with FCRA regulations.

Common post-hire background screenings

Although the exact screenings required will depend on your industry and the nature of the position, all of the following can be useful as part of a thorough post-employment screening program.

Criminal background checks

Screening for criminal activity is an important way to keep your employees, clients, and customers safe—and an employee with a clean criminal record upon hiring may have participated in illegal activity during their time at your company.

Criminal background searches—including county criminal searches, seven-year criminal history checks, and national criminal database searches—can help your company verify that your employee hasn’t had any criminal convictions since being hired.

Drug screenings

Use of illicit substances isn’t just illegal—in many industries, it can also present a significant safety risk. Routine drug tests can screen for employees who may be abusing drugs on the job—and violating your company’s substance use policies.

Professional license verification

Many industries have stringent requirements for licensing and certification, and in some cases, these licenses may expire over the course of an employee’s tenure. Regular professional license verification can protect your business by checking to ensure that all employees still hold the necessary licensure. Otherwise, your business could be placed at legal risk by employing an individual whose professional license has expired.

Education and employment verification

If you’re considering promoting an employee to a new position, there may be additional requirements for education or past employment experience that weren’t necessary for the employee’s original job. An experienced background screening company can verify the candidate’s education and employment history to ensure that they have all the qualifications needed for their new position.

Motor vehicle report

A motor vehicle report returns information on an employee’s driving history, including traffic violations and suspended or expired licenses. This type of background screening may be beneficial for employees who regularly drive as part of their job or are being moved to a new position requiring driving at work.

Need to screen current employees? We can help

The team at EagleScreen has the experience to ensure that background screenings are completed efficiently and in full compliance with the law.

We can help you find the best screening solution for your unique situation with a wide range of customizable packages. Whether your business needs to pursue pre-employment screenings, post-employment screenings, or corporate due diligence checks, our team can ensure a streamlined, communicative, and compliant screening process.

For more information, contact us.

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