GP1 Blog – Background Checks during the COVID-19 pandemic

GP1 Blog – Background Checks during the COVID-19 pandemic

The process of hiring new employees may have slowed down during the unprecedented conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic, but it has most certainly not stopped. Background checks are an important part of a company’s hiring strategy during both normal and abnormal times.

Diligently working from home during this crisis, the team at GroupOne Background Screening can personally attest to the urgent need of many companies to continue hiring during the pandemic. As noted in past blogs, numerous court closures across the U.S. are creating challenges in obtaining criminal records. This puts many companies in a difficult position.

As the U.S. and the world adapts to the COVID-19 crisis, there are multiple jobs considered “essential” including:

Hospital and healthcare employees;
Online companies with distribution employees;
Labor markets in need of free-lance employees;
Staffing firms to assist these industries.

Due to “stay-at-home” orders and court closures, many companies are unable to perform basic criminal checks on potential employees. Simply put, this COVID-19 pandemic is causing critical delays in the hiring of desperately needed employees within these industries. It’s a dangerous gridlock.

When it comes to hiring and screening, what can employers do now? Here’s a few steps recommended by our staff at GroupOne.

1. Stay Informed
During the COVID-19 crisis, there are numerous online resources available to provide daily information on best practices and safety. Valuable sources to reference:

Department of Labor;
Employee Benefits Security Administration;
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention;
Small Business Administration.

Check these resources on a regular basis and you will have the knowledge necessary to make informed hiring decisions.

2. Understand Background Screening
Here’s a few questions you might have for GroupOne:

• What’s included in a background check?
• How long should it take?
• Are screening procedures impacted by the pandemic?
• Are you compliant with legal rules and regulations?
• Are there considerations and best practices specific to industries?

Our team is ready to answer these questions so you can have the knowledge necessary to making important hiring decisions during this critical time.

3. Avoid Bad Hires
GroupOne has noticed some companies hiring workers before background checks are fully processed. It’s important to recognize the cost of a bad hire can be disastrous to not only your company, but to employees and customers. GroupOne can work with your company to adopt thorough and fast background checks during this crisis.

4. Network
There is no better time to look beyond your company than during this universal crisis. If you need advice, ask for it. Reach out to business partners including associations and government leaders for ways to share best practices. Strengthening your network keeps you aware of new best practices during the pandemic and beyond.

5. Work Remote
With social distancing guidelines in place, companies should hire, onboard and work remotely to protect the safety of employees and candidates. Consider ways to utilize technology when it comes to hiring and workflow. Is your IT infrastructure solid? Do you have policies for employees to work effectively from home? Are you holding digital meetings to communicate to your employees? Consider these questions as your company enters a “new normal.”

GroupOne also recommends for companies to look beyond the pandemic into the months ahead when employees return from working at home. Likely, more companies will need to immediately hire new employees to keep up with the new demand – and there will eventually be one.

Please do not hesitate to contact GroupOne for questions or advice during this trying time. We are here to assist!

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