Preparing for the Upturn

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Refining your background check program

The current economic slowdown actually presents a golden opportunity for your organization to establish and refine its employment screening program. While hiring volumes are down, now is the ideal time to focus on building the most comprehensive and efficient screening program possible.

This way, when the economy rebounds, you will be poised to select candidates of the highest caliber with the fastest time-to-hire. Having background screening policies and processes already set in place will give your organization a competitive advantage in a market where companies are scrambling to hire the best talent.

As you develop a screening program that is thorough, compliant, and consistent throughout your entire workforce, two key areas to concentrate on are extended workforce screening and international background checks. The increasing mobility of the global workforce, along with the growing reliance on contingent labor, calls for a background screening program that transcends the traditional borders of company or country.

Planning for a Contingent Workforce
According to a 2005 study conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (the most recent study available at the time this article was written), there are 5.7 million contingent workers in the United States, comprising about 4 percent of all employed individuals.

Contingent labor, a category that includes seasonal workers, independent contractors, and temporary employees hired through staffing agencies, is currently available in virtually every job category. By using contingent labor, companies can adapt to changing conditions (e.g., emergencies, natural disasters, seasonal trends, unstable markets, etc.), enhance productivity, and potentially avoid unnecessary expenses.

As former HR generalist and trainer Kathryn Tyler notes in her article on contingent workers, “Planning for the use of contingent labor minimizes companies’ risks and costs . . . and at the same time allows them to fulfill business obligations” (HR Magazine, March 2008). A critical part of the contingent labor planning that will reduce companies’ risks and costs is the screening of the extended workforce.

Implementing a screening program for contingent workers enables organizations to achieve compliance, maintain a safe work environment, and hold their vendors, contractors, and temporary workers to the same high standards as their regular employees.

Adapting to a Global Workforce
In this era of globalization, employers are increasingly bringing aboard talent from distant parts of the world, or relocating employees within their company from one country to another.

A 2008 white paper produced by Manpower, entitled “The Borderless Workforce,” examines the “vast and entirely global shift in the availability of labor – a shift that is accelerating and for which few employers . . . are truly prepared.” Employers are beginning to realize that establishing a consistent, worldwide screening program is necessary for them to adjust to the dramatic increase in global talent mobility.

More than 190 million people, or roughly three percent of the world’s population, currently live outside their countries of birth, according to the International Organization of Migration (IOM).

However, a significantly greater number of people are willing to relocate anywhere in the world for the right job: “A recent Manpower Relocating for Work Survey revealed that over 32 percent of respondents are willing to move to anywhere in the world for the right work opportunity, which is an open invitation for employers to consider the global talent pool as its recruiting grounds – not just the national market” (“The Borderless Workforce, June 2008). Developments in technology, such as the advent of the Internet and the proliferation of mobile phones, have made it easier for individuals to find work beyond their countries of origin.

Industry-Leading Solutions for a Borderless Screening Program
HireRight’s commitment to producing innovative solutions to meet the needs of our customers is reflected in the history of our Extended Workforce Screening (EWS) solution. By conducting three rounds of customer surveys, we gathered feedback from our clients regarding the functionality they required in a screening solution for their vendor, contract, and temporary labor.

The result was a versatile, easy-to-use solution that facilitated compliant and consistent screening programs for our customers. In fact, the editors of Human Resource Executive Magazine chose HireRight’s Extended Workforce Screening solution as one of their Top New Products of the Year for 2006.

For your global screening needs, HireRight provides a range of services in more than 200 countries and territories, covering markets in North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, the Middle East, South America and Africa. HireRight uses a single global platform, which means that worldwide searches can be ordered from the same online platform used for U.S.-based searches.

Our innovative system collects the pertinent information required to perform a screen in each country requested, based on each country’s specific requirements. A full list of countries and respective services offered can be provided upon request.

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HireRight is a leading provider of on-demand employment background checks, drug and health screening, and electronic Form I-9 and E-Verify solutions that help employers automate, manage and control background screening and related programs.

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The HireRight Blog is provided for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be comprehensive, and is not a substitute for and should not be construed as legal advice. HireRight does not warrant any statements in the HireRight Blog. Any statutes or laws cited herein should be read in their entirety. You should direct to your own experienced legal counsel questions involving your organization’s compliance with or interpretation or application of laws or regulations and any additional legal requirements that may apply.