A farmer in southern Arizona was fined more than half-a-million dollars recently by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for employing individuals who were not authorized to work in the United States.
As one of several regulating bodies in the U.S., ICE doles out millions of dollars in fines each year to employers for Form I-9 violations and other offenses. Depending on the state and industry that an organization operates in, its hiring practices are not just subject to ICE regulations, but also to several other regulating authorities.
According to the 2011 HireRight Employment Screening Benchmarking Report, along with compliance risks, employers say that their top hiring concerns are poor quality of candidates, high worker turnover, workplace accidents, absenteeism, theft and fraud. With a solid background screening program in place, employers can maintain compliant hiring practices and address these risks.
Below we’ll discuss in more detail the three main ways that a comprehensive background screening solution adds value to an organization.
1. Improve Regulatory Compliance
Employers face several layers of regulation during the hiring process. There are state and federal guidelines for issues such as eligibility and discrimination. Within industries such as health care and financial services, there are several industry-specific state and federal regulations from governing authorities as well as licensing and certification concerns. Failure to comply with any one of these regulations can result in steep fines or placement under a restrictive continuous audit or probation by a regulator.
Ensuring that all compliance requirements are met can be challenging for an already over-taxed Human Resources department. Each part of a background check, from criminal records searches, to credit checks, must be completed within strict guidelines to maintain fair employment practices and avoid discrimination claims. An automated background screening solution can better mitigate compliance and litigation risks, by providing reminders and parameters, and streamlining the regulatory requirements for workers in one intuitive view.
2. Increase Safety and Security
Another benefit of a healthy background screening program is the ability to identify potentially harmful individuals within an applicant pool. By conducting drug testing, and state and national criminal, credit, and sex offender searches, employers can better identify and investigate any red flags in a candidate’s history. Health care organizations will also want to check for industry sanctions and medical malpractice events to mitigate the risk of negligence and maintain compliance with health care authorities.
A thorough review of background check reports can also reduce the instances of on the job fraud, negligence, theft, drug use, violence and abuse. All of these negative actions can result in fines, costly litigation and severe damage to the brand reputation of a company. However, there are state-by-state restrictions on how employers must conduct the above testing and screening procedures. An automated background screening solution by a trusted provider can bundle all of these screening practices together in one system to comply with background reporting requirements.
3. Reduce Employee Turnover
In our Benchmarking Report, an overall poor quality of hire was one of the most common issues that employers sought to correct. Following closely behind poor hires was the related high incidence of employee turnover.
The right background screening policy can help an employer to avoid the lost time and costs of making bad hiring decisions and dealing with the resulting employee churn. Employers may consider the results of drug testing, criminal and sex offender checks, and even credit history checks during the hiring process. This information can be used to better evaluate the integrity of a job candidate. A focused approach to background screening will quickly eliminate those workers who have a history of harmful or negligent behavior, or who may repeat that behavior on the job.
Free Report: HireRight 2011 Employment Screening Benchmarking Report
Learn more about the value of employment background checking by downloading:
HireRight Employment Screening Benchmarking Report