Employee Background Checks Post COVID-19
Applying best practices for employee background checks are more important than ever, especially for businesses looking to expand their workforce. The post Covid-19 job market has also created new challenges for employers during the last two years, as they struggle to hire remote workers.
The growth in the gig economy is one of the most significant trends in background checks, especially during the last two years. The increase in remote workers has also delayed the processing of background checks, among other factors such as the rise in continual screening. The growing practice of integrating background checks with other platforms is another significant change in background checks over the last few years. Finally, the use of social media to perform these checks is becoming increasingly common, despite the challenges it creates.
The following five trends will help drive employment practices in 2023:
- Gig workers
- Background check delays
- Continual screening
- Integrated background checks
- Social media screening
More workers turned to freelance or gig work during the pandemic, especially transportation services like Lyft and Uber. A 2022 report from Intuit shows that 7.6 million people will join the gig economy this year, which will grow by 18.5 percent per year for the next five years. Uber’s 2017-2018 U.S. Safety Report reported that 5,981 sexual assaults during Uber rides were reported during this period.
This trend increases the liability of employers, who generally haven’t been screening gig workers as thoroughly as full-time workers until now. Companies that have gig workers have often neglected to perform a pre-employment criminal background check and continuous monitoring of employees. However, the potential risk to customers means that companies must begin screening remote employees much more closely in 2023.
Background Check Delays
The pandemic was responsible for numerous supply chain problems in 2021, which will continue in 2023. The issues caused delays in drug screening, as all major laboratories in the US experienced much more significant backlogs. In addition, companies increased their recruiting efforts to address the ongoing labor shortage, further contributing to drug testing delays. The labor shortage also increased the time needed to collect and process samples.
Additional causes of background check delays include problems with transportation and logistics, and a shortage in the supplies needed to make drug testing kits. For example, the current plastic shortage has limited the supply of testing cups. Furthermore, recent legislation has required the removal of personally identifiable information (PII) from court records, creating additional delays in background checks. These laws are most prevalent in California, but other states are likely to adopt similar legislation shortly. As a result, obtaining accurate employee background checks quickly could become more challenging as this trend continues.
Most employers already screen job applicants before hiring, but continuously monitoring employees after they’re hired is becoming an increasingly common practice. Pre-employment screening helps reduce the risk of hiring applicants who are dangerous, dishonest or unqualified. Still, ongoing screening is needed to detect new behaviors such as criminal activity and drug use.
Current forecasts predict that 12 percent of the workforce will be arrested within five years, making it essential for screening to be a continuing process. However, this practice can also make employees feel uncomfortable and untrusted. Avoiding this outcome requires companies to develop a well-crafted policy on continuous criminal background checks and communicate that policy to employees.
Integrated Background Checks
An Applicant Tracking System (ATS) helps companies make better hires and improve their relationships with employees. Applying employee background checks with an ATS is changing the hiring process in 2023. According to Forbes 99% of 500 fortune companies use An Applicant Tracking System (ATS). Some of the larger corporations such as Starbucks and Nike, use systems such as Taleo, where as more technology oriented companies and startups like Airbnb, Venmo, and Squarespace use Greenhouse as their choice of ATS provider.
These platforms have been available for years, but their popularity has grown dramatically during the pandemic due to generally dwindling HR resources. Integrating background checks with ATSs streamlines a company’s hiring workflow by eliminating dual data entry and reducing redundant correspondence between candidates and decision-makers. This feature also increases transparency and improves the candidate’s experience. In addition, some providers offer custom integration for their background check solution with a client’s existing ATS platform.
Social Media Screening
The use of social media as a screening tool will continue to increase in 2023, despite its challenges. Social media posts can provide a great deal of information on a candidate’s social habits, but they can also be misleading when taken out of context. While this practice is helpful for making hiring decisions, it can also create potential liability issues for companies that do them.
Federal legislation like the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) places significant restrictions on the information that employers can obtain about prospective employees. Furthermore, some states have specifically prohibited employers from using social media information as part of the criteria in the hiring process. Some professions that work directly in social media are exempted from these restrictions, especially marketing and public relations. The Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC) has published guidelines to reduce the risk of using social media posts to make hiring decisions.
KarmaCheck offers an AI-driven approach to fast background checks that gives employers the information they need on candidates in near real time. Our technology also provides actionable notifications, allowing you to make hiring decisions more quickly and accurately. In addition, workers with remote jobs can access our platform quickly and reliably, while remaining compliant with relevant regulations.
Are you a small business owner? We have made it easy for you to conduct background and screening checks through our self checkout process. Visit our pricing page at link below to order your next batch of background checks and screenings. Please schedule a demo with one of our expert sales representatives for custom or enterprise packages.