It’s plain to see that the world around us is changing with the evolution of technology and the reform of social and racial justice. Concerns range from good intentions, the threat of a lawsuit, or a social media scandal looming overhead. Employers are eager to keep their workplaces safe and free from potential HR nightmares. Here are the top five background screening trends we’ve observed in 2020.
Employers have come around to the idea that doing a preliminary background check once on an employee is just a snapshot in time. However, that does not provide insight on who that person is today. With continuous monitoring, a company can withhold its reputation post-hire by conducting routine background checks. You can read more about the Ongoing Monitoring services we offer at Alliance 2020.
As a result, some industries put much more emphasis on continuous monitoring such as government agencies, transportation, and construction. Others are catching on as well, such as healthcare, education, and companies involved with data security – that is, if their employees have access to PII (Personal Identifying Information). Continuous monitoring also brings new hope to ride-hailing companies like Uber and Lyft, who have struggled to keep riders safe from predatory drivers.
Most of us have an online presence of some kind. While there is no substitution for a criminal background check, a social media screen is becoming a mainstream practice of the hiring process.
A social screen allows the employer to see the whole picture before hiring someone who will not uphold your company’s reputation. According to a 2018 CareerBuilder Survey, there are 4 top reasons why employers chose to not hire someone based on a social media screen. These reasons include provocative photos, drinking or drug use, discriminatory comments, and criminal behavior.
With that being said, employers can easily fall into privacy or discrimination traps if the information was not obtained fairly or ethically. Employers must exercise extreme caution when considering social screening. There are strict privacy laws and regulations established by the FCRA and EEOC. Information obtained from the applicant’s social media cannot be used as the basis of a hiring decision. It is best to fall in compliance with an accredited background screening company and allow them to obtain the necessary information about a candidate.
Screening for Freelance and Contract Workers
“Gig” workers, or those who are not permanently employed for any reason, make up a huge chunk of the workforce. An Intuit study predicts that roughly 7.6 million Americans will participate in the 2020 gig economy. In 5 years, the number of gig workers has doubled in the U.S. Even if they’re not customer facing, they can still represent a company and employers need to have some sort of screening process in place for these workers.
The extent of the screening will be discretionary and ultimately comes down to trust. Employers must understand the context of their hiring needs and the candidate pool applying to specific positions. Depending on the risk factors, employers will have to choose the appropriate level of screening to meet their needs. The bottom line is, some screening is better than none when it comes to short-term workers, and the best background screening companies have options available for these types of reports. Learn about our Vendor and Contractor Screening Services.
DOT Drug Testing
The FMCSA (Federal Motor carrier Safety Administration) requires that all employees regulated by this agency undergo a criminal background check. Employees must also register for a drug screen with the FMCSA’s Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse. The Clearinghouse affects every transportation employer, holders of CDLs (Commercial Driver’s License), and service agents.
Service agents are those who participate in the screening process as a third party. Examples include lab technicians and MROs (Medical Review Officers). Beginning in January of this year, the Clearinghouse maintains violation and return-to-duty information on all drivers who fall under the purview of the FMCSA. It is important that employers partner with a screening company that is familiar with the laws and procedures for these tests. Read more about Alliance 2020’s DOT Drug Testing Services.
Salary History Bans
Salary history bans and “ban the box” laws are also gaining popularity. According to HR Dive, there are currently 17 statewide and 20 local salary history bans across the country. More states are following suit. The laws prohibit an employer from asking job applicants about their pay history. Some even allow employees to discuss their pay with coworkers without repercussion.
The goal of these laws is to reduce pay discrimination. They also shift the focus to the candidate’s qualifications and skill set for the job. These laws predominately support women and people of color who are looking for employment. These laws are a positive step towards closing the wage gap. As expected, a few states have dug their heels in on this legislation. In time though, the results will speak for themselves. For now, be sure your applications and background screening process are in accordance with the laws in your area. Alliance 2020 has a complete national list of Salary History Bans as well as Ban the Box laws.
- On July 24, 2020