Audits are important to employers for several reasons. They can help improve processes that may be out-of-date. They can alert HR managers and business employers of activities that could be illegal, costly or potentially risky to the organization. Concerning human resource exercises, audits are fundamental due to interaction with the public, in the case of applicants, employees or clients. Recruiting and hiring employees is highly focused and regulated. Employers must be aware of the risk of litigation, before, during and after hiring.
Recent years have brought significant changes to the regulatory and legal environment of employment background screening. With EEOC and FCRA-related litigations on the rise and a record-breaking $4.4 million settlement in the transportation industry for failing to provide candidates with their rights involving records used during the hiring process, there has never been a more pertinent time for organizations to evaluate their employee screening process.
Regular employment screening audits help to ensure the arrangement of business screening practices with changes in employment law. These audits shores up gaps, identify opportunities for process improvement, help protect organizations from exorbitant suit, and eventually make an organization’s workforce stronger and safer.
Here are a Few Tips on How to Audit Your Employee Screening Process
1. Work with an Accredited Consumer Reporting Agency
Background screeners who pledge to standards prescribed by the Professional Background Screeners Association (PBSA) have proven expertise, positive compliance history, and a system in place to align with the latest employment regulations, making them a valuable asset to your organization. Association with PBSA gives you a level of trust and accreditation is an important seal of approval that organizations should look for when partnering with a background screening provider. Less than 2% of consumer reporting agencies achieve accreditation. The experienced elite earns accreditation through a rigid and important approval process.
2. Determine the Extent of Attorney-Client Privilege
Any information gathered during an audit could potentially be utilized in future litigation. Working with in-house counsel at the beginning of an audit can help determine if any work in progress documentation or subsequent changes will be protected by the attorney-client privilege.
3. Involve Cross-Functional Stakeholders
While an organization’s employee screening process traces everyone in the organization as part of the hiring process, particular stakeholders who can provide valuable insights for an auditing exercise. Including representatives from human resources, legal, compliance, security, and operations will provide a well-rounded perspective and ensure alignment with other corporate-wide initiatives.
4. Assign an In-House Expert
While auditing, it is beneficial to designate at least one employment screening expert. This expert will stay abreast of the complex issues surrounding background screening and employment law. In-house experts should work closely with the organization’s background screening partner and internal teams to ensure full compliance with Federal, State, and Local employment laws. In addition, these designated experts should provide regular updates about pending and recent changes that impact the screening process.
5. Include All Locations
Organizations with multiple locations have additional communication and their employee screening process audit needs to address. Representative stakeholders from each location should be a part of the audit process. In addition, these location-based representatives should serve as ambassadors for implementing necessary updates at their respective locations. Few organizations will choose to centralize these efforts through corporate offices. Other businesses might allow field offices to make the final hiring determinations. In any case, the key to compliance comes from streamlining processes and establishing clear communication channels for disseminating important updates to everyone involved.
6. Show Consistency
A self-audit can also help to identify potential gaps in current employment background screening program. Proactive associations cannot just discover approaches to improve the screening procedure, yet also correct any paperwork errors, such as I-9 mistakes, which could be expensive in the event of a Federal audit. Employers who require obligatory drug screening must assure that their policies and approaches for employee selection, notification, and testing are consistent, randomized, and non-discriminatory.
7. Manage and Mitigate Risks
Determine precisely the right level of background screening that meets your employment criteria and workplace safety standards, so that your organization remains consistent with all the applicable regulations and is still able to hire the best talent. If the employer thinking of adding several layers of extra screening access whether there is any true risk mitigation benefit. If not, consider an increasingly streamlined program going forward.
Due to the constant changes in the nature of laws, regulations, and technology engaged in the background screening process today, performing your own proactive “pre-audit” is not as excessively cautious as it may sound from the recommendations above. Background screening oversights can result in expensive fines from regulators, judgments from litigation, or damage to your brand in the case of newsworthy class actions.
These are the few tips of the best processes, organizations should consider when auditing their employee screening practices. It will assist organizations in focusing their efforts and bringing together the right support team.
Securecheck360 provides actionable insights you trust. If you would like to review your background screening program for compliance, please reach us at [email protected] or give us a call at 855-955-4777.