The Changing Workplace
The way people do business is changing rapidly with the influence of COVID-19. It’s only fair to expect hiring and screening practices to evolve as companies adjust to the greater demands for workplace flexibility and the new gig economy. Continuous Arrest Monitoring may be the answer.
Traditionally, most employers perform criminal background checks before making job offers. These pre-employment screening practices play a critical role in protecting a company’s reputation and ensuring a safe work environment.
However, with “work from anywhere” gaining traction during the pandemic, many companies are beginning to rethink their background screening programs. Running background checks only on new employees may no longer be sufficient.
Remote employees have greater flexibility and more unsupervised freedom than their office-bound counterparts – not to mention unapparelled access to social media channels. Frequent video meetings and robust performance metrics can help manage remote employees. Still, the lack of day-to-day observations means you may be missing behaviors that would normally cause concern or warrant further conversations.
This new dynamic of remote workers and the gig economy is driving new solutions such as periodic pre-screening of employees and continuous monitoring. Specifically designed for existing employees, these programs can be a cost-effective solution for mitigating risks.
Periodic rescreening of employees usually includes running abbreviated background checks similar to what was conducted when the employee was initially hired. Typically, these are completed on a quarterly, semi-annual, or annual basis. Some companies limit rescreening programs to include only employees considered for higher-level positions (dealing with money, financial information, or confidential data). Whereas more risk-averse companies tend to periodically rescreen all employees to mitigate risks and ensure reasonable steps have been taken to provide a safe and productive work environment.
Employee monitoring solutions can include motor vehicle reports (MVRs), healthcare sanction reports, social media profiles, or real-time arrest alerts. Especially valuable with high-risk, high-profile, or remote positions, these ongoing monitoring programs are designed to provide information throughout an employee’s tenure on a real-time basis.
What is Continuous Arrest Monitoring?
Pre-employment background checks are as ubiquitous as they are limited. Sure, pre-screening provides a glimpse into your candidate’s educational and criminal past. But, what happens after the candidate transitions to employee status can be just as important when assessing risk among your active workforce.
Security Magazine describes continuous arrest monitoring as when a “firm send[s] an employer alerts if staff members get arrested or incarcerated, or in some cases, if they have liens filed against them, have become liable for civil judgments, appear on no-fly lists, lose their medical license, get disbarred, or otherwise appear in a database that calls into question the safety or security implications of keeping them on board.” This comprehensive set of background screening tools, in theory, runs 24/7, and depending on the vendor, can provide researched results concerning reported incidents in 24-48 hours.
According to the Department of Labor, occupational fraud cases caused losses of over $6.3 billion in 2016. This number is astonishing when taking into account how many professions this crime touches.
It’s hard to forget the viral story of teenager Malachi Love-Robinson. He pretended to be a medical doctor and used his fake licenses to provide lousy health advice and fake cures. While doing so, he also leveraged his standing as a physician to use an elderly patient’s credit to buy a sports car.
When compounded with the fact that 14.4 million people became the victim of identity theft in 2019, this news clarifies that stopping the screening process at the point of entry leaves companies wide open for reputation damage and waning customer loyalty. Companies and HR professionals need to know about all potential risks as soon as possible to make the best decisions.
This is where continuous arrest monitoring comes into play. While some new hires might be able to get through the pre-employment screening process without flagged inconsistencies, constant monitoring of the multiple factors mentioned above provides a better understanding of the employee overall.
How Continuous Arrest Monitoring Works
Any employment screening process comes with a set of best practices and general rules. With continuous arrest monitoring, the general practice is that employees sign an agreement consenting to have their arrest record checked on a constant basis.
Through technology platforms, database research, and old-fashioned phone calls conducted by internal HR departments or employment screening services such as ESS, employers are alerted to newly reported crimes, charges, etc., attached to an employee after an investigation into the validity and risk associated with any given charge. Employers are then able to take appropriate action based on the information gained from the search.
Who Uses Continuous Arrest Monitoring?
According to Nick Fishman, an expert in screening and continuous monitoring, “regulated industries, such as financial services, as well as those that serve vulnerable populations, such as childcare and nursing homes, have been the first adopters [of continuous arrest monitoring].”
The practice of continuous arrest monitoring is gaining traction in HR departments across multiple industries. One of the most high-profile additions to the continuous monitoring realm is Uber– a company that went through months of bad publicity regarding its passenger drivers and delivery personnel’s safety and qualifications.
Uber Vice President of Safety and Insurance Gus Fuldner told Axios, “Ultimately what we’re looking for… is a way to get the same kind of info as in a background check but get it in a real-time manner.”
This real-time fact-finding mission is the bedrock of any good continuous arrest monitoring service that seeks to help employers mitigate risk to its employees and customers.
Compliance Issues to Consider
With newer legislation like “Ban the Box” laws and the Fair Chance Act, employers must be mindful of regulations that govern how background screenings can be performed and how the information gained can be reported and used in the hiring process.
The main set of rules guiding continuous monitoring can be found in the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). On its website, the FTC states that “If employers use background checks in making personnel decisions, they must comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act and laws that protect people from discrimination.”
And while FCRA compliance is already a nuanced set of regulations, this state and local laws such as California’s Investigative Consumer Reporting Agencies Act further complicates how and when companies can run background checks.
Continuous arrest monitoring helps those with a criminal past by lowering initial hiring barriers and allows those affected to maintain employment, assuming no relevant post-hire charges are pressed against that individual.
Arrest Access Monitoring by ESS. With Arrest Access Monitoring, employers benefit from a state-of-the-art technology platform, phenomenal researchers, and a reporting platform that is second to none. When you sign up for an Arrest Access Monitoring subscription, you’ll know you’re getting professional quality screening services with a personal touch. You won’t find chatbots or impersonal sales techniques on our website. At ESS, we believe in building long relationships with employers who know they can trust us to make their hiring process easier, faster, and more accurate.