As the employment law landscape becomes increasingly complex and candidates continue to place growing emphasis on having a positive recruitment experience, ensuring robust checks are being carried out without damaging the relationship with applicants is crucial. But it’s not always simple to achieve.
We know first-hand that background screening requires a delicate balance of the legal requirements and positive engagement with talent pools – after all, it’s what we do. For HR teams that are - let’s be honest – already overburdened and often under-resourced, managing this can come with real challenges. The solution could be to outsource. While there may be a reluctance to take this approach in some cases – with ‘outsourcing’ often being mistaken for ‘offshoring’ – the benefits are numerous and can be explored in detail within our recent outsourcing whitepaper.
Although, here are some of the practical considerations to bear in mind when outsourcing your background screening programme.
The importance of background screening
In our Background Checks 2018: UK Trends & Best Practice Report, regulatory compliance was listed as the number one reason why companies perform pre-employment checks. We have little doubt that constantly evolving rules and regulations are drivers of this sentiment, with the introduction of GDPR and the looming employment legislation uncertainty in the UK post-Brexit just two examples of the complexity of background screening today. Staying ahead of these changes can be time-consuming and mistakes, costly – both financially and for your brand’s reputation.
The diversity of workforces today is also driving the need for robust checks. As a case in point, the growth of contingent workers has created a more flexible stream of resources, but ensuring this talent pool also faces stringent checks is critical. It’s encouraging that our UK trends report revealed a 7% increase in the number of organisations conducting background checks on this section of the workforce between 2016 and 2018. However, as the ‘non-employed’ play just as crucial a role in a business, any screening procedures implemented for permanent staff should also be extended across the freelance and contract communities to ensure consistency.
Building the Business case: Why outsource?
In our view there is little doubt that employment screening is critical for the majority of businesses, but why should you outsource it?
- Workplace safety
First and foremost, the safety of your employees should be of utmost importance. Comprehensive screening programmes and criminal record checks can help reduce the chances of risks occurring. In some cases businesses can be held liable if certain checks are missed or carried out incorrectly, and an employee goes on to harm someone, but outsourcing to an expert can help mitigate such a situation from occurring.
- Litigation and reputational damage
In some countries, employers can be held financially liable if they know, or should have known, that an individual posed a foreseeable risk of harm. And even if legal action isn’t taken, a firm’s brand will likely suffer in the court of public opinion.
- Hiring the wrong people
The world of HR recognises the damage a wrong hire can have to a business. Aside from the lost financial investment, the disruption to team motivation and engagement can also be costly. Partnering with an expert that can identify those that may pose risk to the business before an offer of employment is even made can help prevent this impact on the workforce.
- Ensuring regulatory compliance
Of course, the crucial aim of outsourcing your background screening is to stay on side with employment legislation. If, as mentioned earlier, this is constantly evolving, staying abreast of any changes may be challenging. A trusted screening partner, however, will ensure background checks are performed compliantly in line with regulatory requirements.
- Increased speed and accuracy
Background screening can be time-consuming in order to get it right and this can take its toll on HR departments if conducted in-house, diverting their attention away from other responsibilities. By outsourcing this often-complex process to a trusted advisor, you can have the peace of mind that you have an expert handling all of the required admin to keep your employee checks in order.
The benefits of outsourcing your background screening programme are clear. If you want to find out how partnering with an expert can help your business, download our latest whitepaper today.