A Post Pandemic Guide To Background Screening
No doubt about it, COVID-19 has changed how we do business overnight. The past few weeks have been filled with angst and anxiety about keeping our work force healthy and at home (if at all possible). As we start to settle in to our new telecommuting routines, we realize adjustments are going to need to be made to help the process of remote hiring, screening and onboarding run smoothly. Established processes that required in person contact, must be evaluated and re-examined to fit our current situation.
While I personally am not ready to accept our current status as the “the new normal”, it is clearly time to recognize that while some of these changes may be short term, others will be long lasting. Even before the pandemic hit, the number of employees working from home had been on the rise, tripling over the last 15 years according to the Federal Reserve. By now, many of you have sent home the majority of your workforce. Employees are experiencing and getting used to perks such as flexible work schedules, less commute time and work from home opportunities. As we look down the road, it is going to be harder than ever to refuse those types of benefits to a modern workforce. What you do (or don’t do) now, will certainly impact your ability to adapt and grow for the remainder of 2020 and beyond.
For employers who are taking this moment to leverage background screening technology and build a culture that makes remote onboarding a little easier, here a few helpful tips:
Ditch the Paper Process- Moving to an electronic application process has never been easier or made more sense than it does now. For the past several years, employers have taken note of the many benefits of using ATS integration or Applicant Portal to begin the background screening process. Being able to gather information electronically means less data entry. Less data entry means less opportunity for human error and an overall better candidate experience. Additionally, through the use of required fields on electronic applications, employers and screening partners are able to ensure that important information required to complete background screening is always included upfront. The Applicant Portal process also makes use of the required online waivers and digital forms, which can be updated in real time as laws change. This means no more chances of someone grabbing an old non-compliant paper form out of some forgotten file drawer. And, of course, using an ATS integration or electronic Applicant Portal, means the screening process can be done remotely without any unnecessary in-person contact.
Utilize Available Technology- Properly using the right technology tools can provide real benefit during this time. Some useful features worth exploring include:
- Using a system that provides real time status view from anywhere at any time
- Customizable dashboard options to address needs of individual users and their roles
- Ability to upload relevant documents
- Multi-user control features which provide the option to manage the background screening process through a tiered hierarchy so that administrative users have the ability to oversee the entire process from their computer and allow/restrict access to reports based on individual users’ job position
- Electronic Pre-Adverse and Adverse Action Process with secure email option
- Individualized Assessment Tool which assists with compliance with EEOC guidelines. This technology tool provides administrative users an opportunity to remotely oversee the process and ensures consistency in decision making and documentation.
Make it Mobile Friendly- According to Glassdoor, 90% of applicants are using mobile devices as a part of the job seeking process. Candidates are looking for the convenience of using a mobile device to carry over to the background screening process as well. It is of particular importance when working with a remote workforce for candidates to be able to enter information and digitally sign waivers/documents using any mobile device.
Explore Drug testing options: Drug testing in the midst of a pandemic takes on some unique challenges. Employers dealing with drug testing requirements or looking to maintain a safe workplace may want to consider alternatives such as electronic Chain of Custody forms and online scheduling. Additionally, for those employers who are feeling a little less than comfortable in sending employees or applicants to a traditional collection site such as an urgent care or lab, on-site oral swab testing may be a safer alternative worth considering.
Choose a Partner with Experience- Choosing an experienced background screening firm who has the expertise to guide you through these troubled times is essential. You need a background screening partner who has been through the ups and downs before and knows how to get information, even under difficult circumstances. An experienced background firm doesn’t just let you know about closures, they have the knowledge and tools to provide alternatives and options if at all possible.
Electronic I-9 and E-Verify Options- Switching to an electronic I-9 process will allow you to allow you to create, manage and store I-9 forms from anywhere (even the comfort of your own home). Benefits also minimizes the chance of error and reduces turnaround time. The process is also able to be seamlessly integrated with the E-Verify process.
This crisis has pushed companies to the limit. In a few weeks we have been expected to reimagine how we do work and develop work from home processes that we may never have thought possible before this all hit. Let’s take advantage of lessons learned here to guide us towards a more modern, efficient screening and onboarding era.
Justifacts is here to Help
Justifacts continues to stay up-to-date on how new federal, state, and local regulations impact employment background checks. We offer numerous services, ranging from employment verification to criminal record checks for industries extending from the manufacturing industry to non-profit organizations. Furthermore, Justifacts’ built in compliance tools, updated in real time, help clients stay current with any new legislation that may affect your background screening process. These compliance tools are offered at no additional cost to our clients.
If you are looking for more information on our services, feel free to request information or give us a call at 800-356-6885 to speak to our sales team.
It is important to note that Justifacts is providing this information as a service to our clients. None of the information contained herein should be construed as legal advice, nor is Justifacts engaged to provide legal advice. We go to great lengths to make sure our information is accurate and useful. We recommend you consult your attorney or legal department if you want assurance that our information, and your interpretation of it, is appropriate to your particular situation.