Most employers now screen incoming job candidates’ histories for previous convictions and/or other unfavorable qualities. This ensures that an individual is suitable for the level of responsibility that will soon be entrusted to them, but is one background check enough? The answer is simply… convoluted.
In today’s world unpredictability can land anyone unsuspecting in a whole heap of trouble. That unpredictability more often than not amounts to something most small businesses simply cannot handle, a lawsuit. Just because an employer has followed the proper due diligence when hiring a new applicant doesn’t mean they are protected from an applicant’s future actions.
Simply put, if an applicant commits a crime after being hired by an organization and then commits a similar offense while on the clock, it could spell out legal action for the employer. Why? Well the employer has a level of responsibility over its employees to ensure they are safe to interact with the general public and are able to complete all the responsibilities of the job. If that individual developed a tendency that endangers a company’s clients then that company has a responsibility to curb that behavior or eliminate the employee from the payroll.
When approaching a policy that utilizes annual or random background checks within an organization it is important to understand which positions or circumstances should be affected by this policy. If an employee is in constant contact with children and/or customers than their holding of that position should rely upon on an annual or bi-annual background check’s successful completion. If an individual is being promoted to a position with a heightened level of responsibility than they too would meet the criteria needed.
Ultimately every employer must decide which positions merit a requirement for an annual background screening procedure, but it is must be stated in the hiring policy and be made aware to any applicants who will be affected by it.
In the end, there is no requirement to screen employees after they have been hired; there is no requirement to run background checks on applicants in the first place. It is merely up to employers to decide how they want to protect themselves from any possible damages individuals may cause to their organizations.
If you want to ensure your organization is as safe as possible, it may be wise to look into an annual or bi-annual screening program for your employees.