Background Screening Blog

The Rise of Rechecks: Screening Returning Workers & Current Employees

Posted by Verified Credentials on Feb 8, 2021 2:10:09 PM


You’ve screened them before, but do you need to get caught up on current history and records? Maybe you are welcoming back employees. Or you’re working through annual rechecks of specific roles. These scenarios may call for a recheck rather than a full pre-employment background check. If you are thinking about adding rescreening to your strategy, you certainly aren’t alone.

The annual research report done by the PBSA and indicates that employee rechecks continue to grow from year-to-year.  2020 was the first year over half of the survey participants said they screen after hire. The practice of rechecks spans across industries. According to SHRM, rescreening is more common for transportation, utilities, government, hospitality, and construction.

Rescreening could also span across situations. No matter the reason, a look to the future shows this trend is likely to continue. A mindful approach can simplify what it means to rescreen. You may want to approach rechecks in unique ways, depending on your situation.

Staying in the Know – Screening Current Employees

Maybe all your employees met your gold standard at the time of hire. Think about how quickly things might change. What might rescreening your current workforce find?

Our 2020 internal data found that nearly 5% of employee rechecks locate a record obtained after hire. For a real-world example of the importance of rescreening, in 2018, Chicago Public Schools rescreened all employees. According to the Chicago Tribune, this massive recheck resulted in removing of over 400 employees, volunteers, and vendors.

Keeping current with records that could impact an employee’s work is essential. For roles that require driving, using equipment, or direct contact with your clients, you may want to know the risks you could face. SHRM brings up the importance of rescreening employees on all levels, including executives. For higher-level roles, some may want to consider regularly reviewing credit history and professional licenses.

Timing is key, and in some cases, critical. Driver’s license checks may be required on an annual basis for specific jobs. Healthcare roles may require a fraud or abuse search every-other-year. For others, you determine how frequently you want to update background checks. Whichever situation applies to you, get it on the calendar.

Shifts in Your Workforce – Qualifying Employees for New Roles

Many of us have experienced changes in our work. Ups and downs in demand have forced employers to change their workforce – sometimes in unique ways. The healthcare industry may have felt the most significant impact of the last year. For example, to meet needs due to Covid-19, the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit quickly shifted its workforce. They moved staff from other areas to assist as ICU “runners.” It created a more manageable scenario for the most front-line care teams.

In situations like this, it’s important to cross-train employees. But you may also need to confirm incoming staff is licensed or permitted to do the work. That’s where a supplemental recheck might work in your favor.

Ready for a Comeback – Returning Employees

With dramatic shifts in the last year, more employers are in a position to rehire past employees. Employee rechecks might be a complete re-do of your pre-hire process. It could also include just pieces of that strategy.

So how do you decide what to check when rehiring? You are ultimately the one that determines what and how you rescreen. It might be an area that is somewhat determined by industry requirements. Alston & Bird also points out that “Even if your company is willing to relax certain company requirements, government-mandated steps in the new-hire process must also be considered.”

The Rise from Our View

Alongside the continued growth of rechecks, our 2020 data shows trends in the way employers rescreen. Rechecking industry-specific searches for licensing requirements remained most common in 2020 at over half. Probably most surprising is the rise in criminal history searches on current employees. Criminal history rechecks increased by over 450% from 2019. We saw most of these take form as a mix of at least two criminal record searches such as:

  • National Criminal Database
  • County Criminal Search
  • Statewide Criminal Search
  • Federal Criminal Search
  • National Sex Offender Registry

Rechecks can be simple to manage with the right workflow strategy. If you are tasked with screening an entire department, job level, or rehire batch, you may want to consider consolidating background checks. With the potential for high-volume screening, we see many organizations using bulk order processing. A large volume project can feel more manageable when you only have a single order to submit. You can even see results on one, easy-to-filter report. Some employers save over an 8-hour workday for every 100 employees screened.

Rechecks continue to gain momentum, and employers are finding even more reasons to update background checks. Consider what situations rescreening can help you stay informed to avoid unnecessary risks. A smart approach can help you face your rechecks head-on, whether it’s for a current employee or someone you are bringing back on board.

Ready to get started with employee rechecks? Schedule a time to learn about how our solutions can fit your strategy ››

Topics: Employment Background Checks, Recurring Screening