Pre-hire background checks are the norm these days. Most businesses do it and most applicants expect it. But, even if you pass the pre-hire screen with no complications you may not be out of the proverbial woods.
A growing number of employers are performing periodic background checks or so-called “infinity” screening on current employees. The ongoing scrutiny of your criminal activity, credit report and social media posts could have a major impact on your career.
There’s no limit on the type of background checks employers can run on current employees as long as they have a signed release and the items checked during the investigation are legal and job-related.
The idea behind continuous screening is to protect the business and workplace from current employees that are involved in criminal activity AFTER they are hired.
Here are some of the positive and negative ramifications of continuous background screening:
Knowing that your fellow employees have clean records could give you peace of mind about sharing the responsibility for preventing data breaches. According to a Forrester Research report titled “Understand the State of Data Security and Privacy: 2013 to 2014,” 25 percent of survey respondents said that abuse by a malicious insider was the most common way a breach occurred at their company.
Plus, having a pristine background may give you the confidence to ask for a raise or pursue a management position, since 29 percent of companies that re-screen employees do so in response to a status change
You could be denied a promotion or even terminated if subsequent background checks reveal damaging information. For instance, you could be fired if you’re convicted of a crime or your employer discovers that you lied about your degree or qualifications on your resume or application.
There are also the cultural considerations with Continuous Screening. What type of message does it send the workplace if workers are constantly suspected of criminal activity? What type of workplace stress is created if an otherwise long time and loyal employees feel they are subject to dismissal at any time for a minor offense that may or may not bear upon their suitably as an employee?
If you don’t know whether your company is running post-hire background checks, ask. Many industries have regulations that require continuous background checking.
According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) , if an employer is interested in continuous screening, it needs to work with a screening partner who can assist the employer with understanding all of the pros and cons in order to make an informed decision and to avoid pitfalls in setting up the program, and avoid providers that simply want to sell more searches that could end up doing more harm than good.
Lying on a resume is not a widely acceptable practice. It is however, becoming a serious problem. According to CareerBuilder in a recent study, more than 50 percent of hiring managers have found a lie on a resume.
Since education and work experience are important, background check providers have to be meticulous and thorough when validating educational reference stated on resumes. And as simple as verifying a school record may seem, it is not necessarily a quick or easy task.
A lot of educational institutions just don’t respond directly to requests.
Many of them subscribe to the National Student Clearinghouse, the largest provider of electronic student record exchanges and postsecondary transcript ordering services in the U.S.
For a fee, the Clearinghouse checks enlistment and graduation data for understudies of most open and private U.S. organizations. The degrees confirmed through the Clearinghouse ensure against false information that can be supplied by “diploma mills.” (dipoloma mill- an institution or organization that grants large numbers of educational degrees based on inadequate or inferior education and assessment of the recipients).
Contacting the institution directly can be challenging. Verifying services attempt to contact the administration, but it is often hard to get in touch with someone at the institution. School holidays often delay the verification process.
Some schools have restrictions in place that only allow the student to gain access to his/ her records. Names might also be confused, causing errors. The schools often prohibit the GPA, degree or awards from being released.
An employer may request to see an actual diploma. But if the diploma needs to come from an educational institution, the turnaround time may increase substantially.
In the event that real transcripts are required to check participation, graduation, courses taken, and GPAs: don’t hold your breath because this is going to take a while…