It's time for HR to ditch their 'set and forget' approach to background screening

Less than a decade ago, background checks were only undertaken for certain roles. These days it's the norm.

Dylan John, Executive General Manager - HR Solutions at Equifax, says "Most businesses in Australia do a background check on employees at the point of hire, and never do it again. If they do, it's usually once every three to five years. A lot can happen during that time."

Here are three reasons why it’s time for HR to implement a different approach to background screening:

1. Employers can’t predict the future

The problem with one-off background checks is that they reflect a single point in time. They can’t account for current and future behaviour of an employee.

While you can’t predict the future, regular re-screening helps narrow the gap between the point of hire and today.

Businesses that are serious about knowing their employees should consider having a more robust approach to background checks, which allows them to do checks on a regular basis.

2. The global workforce is mobile

International Criminal History Checks (ICHCs) are becoming more relevant than ever, as the global workforce continues to become more mobile. According to the 2016 Census, 33% of Australia’s population were born overseas, with nearly 20% arriving since 2012.

"It’s currently best practice to undertake an ICHC and police check on anyone who has spent more than six continuous months overseas in the last five years. These individual checks provide a starting point for developing a comprehensive picture of a candidate’s history, to help you understand the potential benefits and risks they pose to your business" says John.

ICHCs should be incorporated into a broader screening process that’s tailored to your business and relevant to the employee’s role. This may include checking educational qualifications, financial responsibility, and identifying documents on government records.

3. Employers can maximise efficiency

Many Australian businesses are recognising the benefits of deeper background screening. Comprehensive background screening at regular intervals not only helps you manage risk and compliance, but frees up your team to focus on high-value tasks rather than tedious admin.

"Since 2014, the demand for ICHCs on our fit2work platform has increased by 1,100%. This trend is likely to continue in the years to come, particularly given Australia’s population and migration growth, new regulations and limited capacity for risk" says John.

"I believe background screening is more than a box to check when you’re hiring a new employee. It’s an ongoing process that will help you get the most out of every employee."

fit2work offers over 70 background screening checks from qualifications and healthcare registration, to financial background and medical assessments that are tailored to a range of industries. Support is available via a local helpdesk and dedicated account managers.

“We can create a bundle of background checks that you seek, based on your industry and the risks you see are inherent to your organisation. You only need one platform for all your employee background screening needs” says John.

The platform is online, easy to use and scalable to the needs of your business. fit2work streamlines the background screening process, so you have more time to focus on high-value recruitment and human resources tasks. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you with your background screening needs or visit the fit2work website.

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