Risk management is not something that you undertake once only and then regard the job as “done”. Rather, risks need to be continuously monitored with systems in place for ongoing checks and action plans ready to roll out if a red flag is detected.
For example, a major investor in a tech start-up would not be satisfied with assessing the new company’s viability once only – instead, they would insist on ongoing financial checks and performance updates to protect their investment. Similarly, procurement professionals use ongoing checks to make sure their strategic suppliers are in good shape and not on the verge of business failure. Cybersecurity experts know that one-off security assessments only capture a moment in time and are useless compared with ongoing threat monitoring.
Yet many organisations of failing to continuously monitor their ongoing people risk. HR and talent acquisition teams conduct their due diligence at the hiring stage through background checking, yet fail to rescreen employees once they are embedded in the organisation.
“Background checks are a hiring no-brainer – you want to ensure candidates are who they say they are,” says Kinatico CEO Michael Ivanchenko. “But after you’ve hired someone, you should be re-screening them on a regular basis.”
In other words, companies are screening candidates for suitability, but are failing to rescreen employees for sustainability.
Some factors will not change – but some potentially will
“While someone’s education credentials and previous employment history will remain constant throughout their career, it’s possible that other things may shift,” says Ivanchenko.
Think about the risk factors that will not change versus those with the potential to change and put your brand at risk. It may be useful to create a table listing constants and variables.
Constants in the left-hand column can be assessed at the pre-employment screening stage and only need to be checked once as these factors will not change (although an employee may gain more education credentials).
Variables in the second category have the potential to change at any time, even if they were checked carefully in the initial background checking process.
|Constants (factors that will not change)||Variables ( factors that could change)|
Working with children
Visa and work entitlement
Is it relevant?
It is important to take industry context, roles and responsibilities into account when determining which variables to monitor. For example, a bankruptcy or credit default should not matter if an employee is not in a position of managerial or financial responsibility, but would be a major red flag if someone has access to cash, invoicing or purchasing. Similarly, a traffic violation should not matter unless the employee has driving responsibilities as part of their role.
“An employee’s criminal, driving and financial records can change over time, and in many instances, this won’t impact the ability of the individual to carry out their role,” says Ivanchenko.
That’s why it is important to avoid a one-size-fits-all solution by implementing a suite of different checks for different industries and duties. Companies should work with their hiring managers and HR team to determine the order – and frequency – of ongoing checks.
Promotions should always involve re-screening
As well as a background screening policy that covers re-screening, in-house promotion policies are important. Often, the new responsibilities that come with a promotion won’t encompass a specific check that will prevent the individual from getting the position. For example, the new role:
- May involve access to company finances (making a bankruptcy/credit check important)
- Could include driving duties (meaning a driver’s licence check becomes relevant).
What would happen if a financial advisor at your company went bankrupt and didn’t disclose this information?
“While we usually focus on the price paid by the individual at fault, an organisation can suffer significant brand damage, even if they’re found not to have breached any laws and did the right thing by reporting a crime as soon as they became aware of it,” says Ivanchenko.
Failing to carry out ongoing background screening could put your clients (and possibly their investment) in jeopardy, with you being potentially liable for any fallout. Employers also have a duty to maintain a safe working environment, part of which involves ensuring all employees are appropriately screened on a regular basis.
Get in touch
Reduce your people-related risk by moving from employee suitability to employee sustainability. While pre-employment screening is a vital part of the hiring process, ongoing monitoring is just as crucial for protecting your brand and keeping your organisation safe and compliant. Get in touch with CVCheck to learn more.