Every organization shares in common one risk – the risk of introducing people into their organizations. What a person does, how they do it and the impact of what they do are part of understanding and managing the risk exposures. Bringing together a healthy balance of risk takers and risk reducers, while implementing a reasonable set of controls over their actions and processes so as to reduce risk without stifling growth is the key to establishing a healthy risk management program. One thing will remain the same – not all risk will be controlled and eliminated. The goal of any organization, then, is to identify, minimize and reduce their risk as much as possible given their resources, revenues, risk assumptions and risk tolerance.
What is the role of background screening in reducing your people risk?
The steps you take to assess, screen, skill test and understand who you are bringing into your organization and onto your teams will directly impact your ability to manage and/or reduce your risk. Background screening is one key feature of a quality risk management program in the area of your people.
Pre-onboarding background screening (whether you are on-boarding an employee, a contractor, a volunteer, a board member, a tenant or an organizational member) helps you to assess past actions, poor prior performance and even risky behaviors that could lead to increased risk of personal injury, property damage, and otherwise unsafe working environment and behaviors. With this type of background screening, you are taking a snapshot in time and looking backwards into the past.
Of course, the strength of your pre-onboarding screening program (and therefore the degree to which you are reducing your risk) is directly dependent on the quality of products and services you are using, the compliance of your screening program and the effectiveness of your screening program implementation. If you are only verifying identity and looking at a multi-state criminal database, you run a high risk of missing some critical information and indicators by not looking at things like federal court criminal records, county criminal records in places where the individual is known to have worked or lived, civil records which often reveals white collar criminal conduct before it rises to the level of being prosecuted, and more.
In addition to taking a snapshot and look at someone’s past, ongoing monitoring of an individual who becomes associated with your organization takes your risk program to an even higher level by enabling you to learn in fairly real time about changes in behavior patterns that might impact your risk exposure and someone’s eligibility to remain with your organization (contact your PeopleFacts representative now to find out more about how you can add this feature to your screening program).
As you evaluate and develop your screening program, we hope this month’s series of articles, blog posts, webinars and videos will help you and your organization better understand the role of background screening not merely as a pre-hiring tool but as a key part of your overall risk management program. Ultimately, we all take risks in order to make progress and to run our businesses. The real question is – how can background screening reasonably reduce our risk within the framework of an improved profit margin, a limited operational budget and a working business model. We look forward to helping you answer this question for your organization this month!