Background Checks

Protecting Your Organization in a Post-COVID World

The 2020s started off with a bang; things no one thought possible this time one year ago are now realities. Not only have we dealt with the impacts of a global pandemic, we witnessed the medical community put out multiple highly effective vaccines in record time. The lockdown that began last March may finally begin to end as vaccinations roll out across the globe. A post-Covid world may seem like a fever dream, but the business world needs to be prepared. Many organizations enter a hiring sprint as businesses scramble to reopen and recover from 2020. 

COVID-19, for better or worse, has fundamentally changed how we recruit, hire, and work together. The rise of Work-From-Home offers a multitude of advantages for companies and their employees— but robust screening is necessary to ensure candidates have the qualifications they claim. Luckily, there are several ways organizations can protect themselves as they try to find their feet in the “new normal.” 

GET SOCIAL

Recent events have shown that social media has a huge impact on everyday life. A person’s online behavior can be a reflection of who they are. If someone posts inflammatory and hateful content online, they may eventually bring that version of themselves to the workplace. Luckily, social media screening has grown increasingly popular and comprehensive over the past decade. 

It obviously isn’t ideal for a hiring manager to scroll through numerous candidates’ Facebook profiles and make decisions that way. Doing so would expose them to potentially private information that cannot be considered when making a hiring decision, such as religion, marital status, etc., which is grounds for discrimination. But some credit reporting agencies (CRAs) now offer FCRA and EEOC-compliant social media screening. This means employers can see a full report of their candidates’ public social media profiles without ever being exposed to any protected information. 

Social media screening is straightforward. Screeners examine a candidate’s public social media and search for red flags: hateful conduct or speech, criminal behavior, vulgarity, and anything else that might concern a potential employer. The CRA in question presents their findings in an anonymized report, ensuring employers only see what they need to in order to make an informed decision. Social media screening is perfect for a virtual workplace; how your employee behaves online is especially important when working from home! 

DON’T SKIP THE BASICS

Verifications are included in most basic screening packages. Background screening professionals determine that a candidate has the degree, skills, and work experience they claim to have. This is an absolutely vital piece of the screening process, as jobseekers will occasionally try to claim a degree they never earned or a job they never held. Verifying an applicant’s information authenticates that they are the best, most qualified person for the position. 

However, some organizations are tempted to skip this screening step, especially when time is of the essence in hiring. If nothing comes up on a criminal history check, some hiring managers see this as a green light. But without a full verification of a candidate’s history and identity, it’s entirely possible someone could slip through the cracks.

The basic screening measures businesses employ are tried and true methods for minimizing risk when hiring. While reducing screening does reduce time-to-hire, your business could suffer when you begin to scrimp on the fundamental tools of screening. 

STAY SAFE, STAY HEALTHY

Even with vaccines being administered, we’re still several steps away from a return to normal life. When your company reopens, if it hasn’t already, it’s important to follow CDC Guidelines for businesses and employers. COVID-19 is, unfortunately, not going anywhere anytime soon; we will be dealing with the ramifications of this virus and its mutant strains for years to come.

As businesses rush to find a new normal, they shouldn’t forget the precautions that keep their staff, clients, and organization safe. Comprehensive screening and following health guidelines will enable companies to find their footing in a post-COVID world.

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