How to Prepare for What Might Show Up in Your Contractor’s Ongoing Background Check
Background Screening |May 12, 2022
We have written a lot about the ongoing background check and continuing to monitor your contractor network throughout your relationship with them. The importance of mitigating risk doesn’t end at the initial background screening so continuing to monitor the risks – operational, legal, financial, and reputational – with an individual spans their entire time with your organization.
Ongoing background checks in the in-home contractor industry are most often referred to as the process of monitoring the county criminal record information of an individual in your service network. Since these contractors are used to represent your company to deliver, install and repair equipment, any relevant issues should be proactively dealt with. Having information is the first step to being proactive and our continuous monitoring product does just that. But have you considered how to prepare for what might show up in your contractor’s ongoing background check?
Below are 4 ways to prepare for the implementation of ongoing background checks
Records will be returned but not all records will be relevant
When rolling out an ongoing background check program, be prepared to have records and negative results returned. This is a good thing because it means the program is working. When those details are provided, it is important to know which records will be relevant and impactful, and which will not. By creating a risk relevancy matrix before the process begins, you can create guidelines for your organization that can be objectively applied when results are received and this will reduce the risk of subjective decisions being made. This matrix will use the type of information and record returned and compare it to what your organization is most concerned about – perhaps a disorderly conduct charge is not great but it won’t have the same impact as an assault charge. Taking all of the key areas of concern and identifying them ahead of having any actual results will help create an objective framework when you are faced with that information.
Booking, Charges, and Arrests are Not Convictions
Depending on the account set up and your vendor’s capabilities, you may be notified when an individual has an alert but this alert may result in a booking, arrest, and/or charge. It is important to know that some of these may be the end of the alert. For example, an individual may be booked and released with no charge or proceeding resulting from the interaction. Or the alert may proceed through various stages and getting to an actual conviction may take time, if it happens at all. Some organizations may prefer to wait until there is a conviction on file before determining how to respond to the information. This would be included in the relevancy matrix that is created which would include directions on how to respond to the status, as well as nature, of the issue.
Ongoing background checks should not replace full rescreenings
While continuous criminal record monitoring is an extremely valuable tool, it is specific to county criminal records only. This means that it is not the same as conducting a full rescreen, which most organizations do on a bi-annual basis. The rescreen process continues to maintain value by being a more fulsome and complete check, including many other searches such as driving records, federal and sex offender records, and even drug testing, as well as the county criminal information. The ongoing background check is most useful for providing a proactive risk mitigation tool to review county-level issues as they arise between the rescreen cycle.
Consider contract language and communication program
In preparation for any ongoing background check program, the communication of the program, its objectives, and even limitations can improve the overall success. In some cases, an organization may even choose to amend their contract language with their contractor network to include proactive notification by companies of any impactful activities such as criminal incidents. This allows everyone to better protect their brand and operations, while also working together to meet joint expectations for disclosure. Self-disclosure can also make any conversations or decisions related to such matters easier and more open. As noted above, not all issues are going to be of impact but ensuring that timely and appropriate action is taken relies on accurate information and partnership.
Your screening partner should be able to provide information regarding the best workflow, authorization, and review process that organizations can consider as they roll out ongoing background checks. Internally, you can prepare by following the steps above so that when you implement the program, the surprises are minimized and the information provided can be effectively used right from the start! Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you.
Contents are provided for information purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Users are reminded to seek legal counsel with respect to their obligations and use of PlusOne Solutions services.
About PlusOne Solutions
PlusOne Solutions has been an industry leader in the risk management field by specializing in compliance programs that meet the complex challenges of geographically dispersed contractors, vendors, and employee networks. PlusOne Solutions protects companies from possible financial, legal, and reputational risks associated with contractor and vendor relationships while creating safer work environments. To learn more, visit https://www.PlusOneSolutions.net.
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