In the last several years, there has been a notable shift in the access and use of information available to organizations when it comes to managing their contractor risks. Specifically, jail, corrections, booking, and arrest information has become electronically available in previously unseen ways, offering a valuable mitigation tool for organizations that want to monitor the behaviors and actions of their networks proactively.
For this blog, contractor networks refer to those organizations that engage third-party individuals who are not directly employed by their organization to deliver, install or support products or services to their customer base. This arrangement usually covers a large regional or national area and results in the organization’s brand being represented by other companies. This arrangement, while not unique, also creates risk and a hands-off relationship between the contractor and the customer for which the organization remains responsible.
Pre-Hire Background Checks
Pre-hire background checks have been a popular step in the typical employment process when an individual joins an organization. More recently, it has also become commonplace with contractors engaged in a service network. The post-hire, or actions taken after that initial background check, are equally important and where we have seen a dramatic increase in usage, and for good reason. Risk certainly does not end when a contractor becomes engaged with your organization, and many may argue it increases as they learn your processes, have access to your information and customers, and can bring direct losses.
Continuous Criminal Monitoring
Among the most common post-hire tools is the continuous criminal monitoring process. Continuous monitoring is the ongoing process of reviewing records on an individual that may flag internal threats and safety concerns. It is a helpful tool in a comprehensive workforce risk management strategy and is best supported when used with a self-reporting policy, which encourages individuals to come forward with any relevant information that may impact contract program participation. Most continuous criminal monitoring sources cover more than 90 percent of the population. They are a suitable search to identify potential behavior that may pose a risk to an organization’s business, customers, brand, and reputation.
Using the individual’s name and date of birth, this service will provide access to near-real-time data from U.S. county jails and Department of Corrections facilities. The continuous monitoring will typically provide notice to PlusOne within 24 hours of an incarceration or booking event. Incarceration and booking alerts provide a proactive tool and more timely information over a wider geographic area than a local level county record check, which is a point-in-time search only.
Instead of reviewing only historical results like a traditional background check provides, continuous criminal monitoring is the ongoing process of reviewing U.S. county-level criminal activity as it occurs. Criminal monitoring does not eliminate the need for regular and ongoing background checks but rather supplements those checks with an ongoing measure of risk mitigation. An alert alone may not result in any actual charge or conviction, and organizations should not act based on an arrest record only. The full process available through PlusOne ensures the process remains compliant and is only based on verified, factual criminal record information.
Taking Additional Steps To Mitigate Risk
Being able to share that the contractors working for your organization are background-checked regularly and enrolled in a criminal monitoring program sends a clear message to your customers, competitors, and industry on how your organization will take extra steps to protect everyone in the service chain. This is quickly becoming an expectation for individuals working off-premises or in consumer homes, and while there is no guarantee, the demonstration of due diligence this provides is strong.
Companies that rely on contractor networks of varying sizes are challenged with maintaining compliance throughout their relationship with a contractor. Continuous criminal monitoring could potentially fill the gap in information between rescreening cycles. Organizations cannot mitigate their risk without sufficient information, and criminal record monitoring can be a valuable resource for them. Balancing the information received from an alert with a full court record check and their direct experience with the contractor means that an alert may not necessarily bar someone from engagement. Only relevant and impactful verified criminal court records will.
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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