Background Verification, Background Verification Basics, HR Corner

Why a Background Check is Crucial in These Work From Home Times

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the traditional workplace environment. Be it meetings, presentations, or team discussions, they are all happening right from the comfort of home, with hiring being no exception. For small firms and large corporations, the current landscape has created an immediate need to fine-tune policies regarding remote employment. But amid the new norms of recruitment, one cannot overlook the importance of pre-employment screening.

Organizations must understand that work from home is not a passing fad. Over the long term, both working from home and remote hiring will become more routine than they ever have been. Considering their long tenure, your employee background check does not have to take a back seat.

In these unprecedented times, it can be tempting to ignore employment verification before onboarding a candidate. But here’s why you should strictly adhere to employee background screening while hiring in this new norm of work from home.

  • Risk of Data Abuse

In the old setting of working from the office, an employer had more control of an employee’s access to the company’s data. But this is not the case with a recruit working from home. You are entrusting them with your confidential data that they may deliberately or accidentally abuse. They have this data on personal devices that they can carry anywhere with them. Plus, you also have to consider that remote workers are in the capacity of contacting anyone from home. All in all, the new normal of working from home is synonymous with possible data leaks and security system breaches.

That is where employment screening comes to your rescue. An employment background verification, which also entails a criminal background check process, assures you that the new employee is trustworthy and has the required skills to help your business grow.

  • Consider Employee Alcohol or Drug Use

The person you just hired remotely is addicted to drugs and alcohol. You do not have the faintest idea about it because there was no background verification or medical check undertaken before you signed on the dotted lines of their appointment letter. Such an employee could pose significant issues for the organization and co-workers, for instance, 

  • Lowered Productivity,
  • Absenteeism,
  • Misbehavior with Team Members,
  • High Medical Compensation Bills, and
  • Performance Drop

Even though your rule book has ‘No Alcohol Use at Work’ written in black and bold, it is hard to catch an employee violating it while working from home. Employee drug screening can point out such an addiction at the nascent stage of employment, thus, saving employers from a bad hire.

  • The ‘Cost of Hiring’ Factor

There is a cost involved when it comes to hiring, and as an HR manager or an entrepreneur, you wouldn’t disagree. There are vacancy advertisement expenses, training overhead, and the cost to onboard the employee – especially in the case of remote workers when the organization has to supply them with relevant technology and access to the internal system. If these new employees quit or are terminated, then there is a turnover cost to replace them. On the whole, when negligent recruitment takes place, it harms the business and leads to loss of productivity and customers.

But when the employees are vetted meticulously through the employee background verification process, the cost of hiring can be reduced to a great extent. The pre-employment screening program involves an employment history check that enlightens employers about the stability and credibility of a person as an employee. A thorough background screening helps in hiring the best of remote resources and minimizes the attrition rate.

  • Remotely Protecting Your Culture

Yes, the employees are working from their respective homes. But you don’t want them to work in isolation. There will be meetings, team interaction sessions, employee-to-employee conversations, and perhaps some non-work related activities. The current employees are familiar with the corporate culture, and they act accordingly despite working remotely. It is the new hires who need an introduction to the culture of your organization.

But what if the new hires are not aligned with the culture of the organization? In that case, there is a risk of culture dilution. And considering everyone is working remotely, curbing the threat to the culture is easier said than done. 

The solution lies in the employee background check process, which considers a crucial factor called culture alignment. With a background check, one gets to know if the candidate is a good fit for the job and the company. The employment & reference verification reveals if the potential candidate was a good fit in the last organization’s culture or not. All in all, employment screening is an effective tool to protect the culture from disgruntled new hires.

  • Background Check Before Recalling Employees – A Brownie Point

It has been more than a year since work from home began due to COVID-19. Both companies and their employees are comfortable with the setting, and the operations have streamlined. But as the pandemic graph continues to dip at many places and the situation becomes less severe, organizations are considering recalling their employees to the office. But before your employees get back to the office, it is advised to repeat a background check on them.

Considering the pandemic, various new factors such as the quarantine period, medical checks, and vaccination updates can be integrated into the employment verification procedure. The screening will also help if there has been a significant change in the work environment, organizational structure, and roles or relationships. Ensure your firm’s and employee’s safety by repeating a comprehensive background check.

Putting it all Together

The pandemic continues and so does working from home! 

As an HR manager or entrepreneur, you’ll be deemed accountable if a stakeholder or the reputation of your corporation is harmed by a remote worker. Therefore, it is highly recommended to have a full-fledged pre-employment screening process in place to avoid any such mishap. If your resources are limited to carry out the background check, professional background verification companies are here to lend a helping hand.

Leverage employee background checks to make sure the candidate working from home is trustworthy and meshes well with your corporate culture.