Insider threats take many forms within a company. From cyber-security, embezzlement, violence in the workplace, the trading of classified information and money laundering, the threat from within is often a constant battle for employees. According to Risk Management Monitor “the average company faces four insider attacks every year, with an estimated price tag of $500,000 each.”
Employers tend to only think about background checks as a hiring tool but the need for continuous screening is becoming more and more necessary as insider threats continue to cause problems long after the hire has been made. One of the biggest errors employers make is the belief that the employee risk doesn’t change post-hire. Things change, people change. That perfect hire five years ago may now be a threat to the company. While companies can never be completely safeguarded from insider threats, they can greatly reduce their risk by continuously monitoring employees for significant warning factors via the use of background checks.
What changed, you ask? Maybe everything. That flawless employee who walked through the doors seven years ago and diligently climbed the corporate ladder may only exist in memory. Divorce, bankruptcy, alcohol and drug problems, or a host of other circumstances may have come into play in this employee’s life and caused them to make questionable, even illegal choices while on the job.
The changes don’t have to be on the employee’s side only though. There may be advances in the background screening process that weren’t available X number of years ago when many employees first were screened. Maybe there’s new software available, maybe the background check now includes records that weren’t accessible during the initial screening. Whatever the reason, running a post-hire background check can be valuable in assessing the current risk profile of an employee.
Protection is the Key
Continuous screening can protect employers by detecting issues early-on and preventing additional problems with employees. For instance, a truck driver working for a large delivery company may have recently been arrested for a DUI and not reported it to the employer. It can take weeks or months before that employer finds out about the DUI, or they may never find out. What if that trucker has an accident while on company time? Now an investigation begins and it is found that he/she had a DUI and the company kept him/her on the payroll. At best, the company will look incompetent for not taking disciplinary action against the employee. At worst, the company will be sued and most likely lose the lawsuit.
Now think about protection in another way. Does an employer want to keep investing money in an employee through training, salary and incentives if they have committed a serious crime? Or does an employer want to face a potential negligent retention lawsuit if an employee harms someone while on the job? If an employee has been charged with a violent crime during the years of his/her employment and never reported the offense to the employer, the company can still be cited in a lawsuit should another crime be committed against a third party while on the clock. It’s a complicated situation, but one that employers would never want to find themselves.
Finally, post-employment screening can often deter employees from making bad choices in the first place. Just as drug-screening deters employees from using drugs while employed by a company that does random drug tests, post-employment background checks can deter employees from committing a crime and losing their job.
Compliance is just as important in follow-up background checks as it is the first time around. Be sure that you understand your state’s laws on what information can be used in making adverse action decisions.
If your company does not have an evergreen clause on background checks, you will need to get consent from your employees before conducting any additional screening. An evergreen clause is simply a clause signed by an employee which gives employers the consent to periodically run background checks during employment. Some states do not allow these clauses so it is important again, to review your states’s laws.
When considering the use of pre-employment and post-employment background checks , make sure you are aware of the facets that distinguish one provider from the next. At SB Checks, our team has more than three decades of industry experience and is dedicated to providing an unsurpassable level of accuracy, service and attention to our clients. Call 888-725-2535 today to learn more about our many services.