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.