In 2018, background screening, to put it simply, is rapidly evolving. Pre-employment due diligence measures and post-employment monitoring techniques are more important now than ever before.
Here are some background check trends for the upcoming year every employee and prospective employee should know.
1. Background checks for on-demand workers are more common
For many years, businesses used nontraditional methods to screen nontraditional workers. Detailed background checks have always been essential for full-time workers, but less common for part-timers, and virtually nonexistent for contract employees.
Businesses are increasingly coming to terms with the importance of having freelancers on their teams. They are also starting to recognize freelancers are still important ambassadors for their brand—even if they are perhaps more removed from the business than full-time workers.
2. Questions about criminal history on applications will disappear
More employers are removing questions about criminal history from job applications.
While this is predominately a U.S. trend, across the world the “Ban the Box” movement is growing and is being used to reduce employment discrimination against ex-criminal offenders.
By removing the criminal history question from job applications and delaying the background check until after a conditional offer has been made, these policies seek to help ex-offenders get a fair chance at employment.
3. Continuous background checks will become the norm
While businesses will be less interested in whether you have a criminal record, they don’t want active criminals working for them.
Over the next year, it’s likely that employers will come to a consensus on how to screen existing employees. This evolving consensus has yet to be decided, but it could be an annual background check policy or a continuous monitoring policy. Job seekers and employees should be aware that what they do after being hired is just as important as what they do before they are hired.
4. Employers will continue using social media for pre-employment screening
Social media background checks are relatively vague from an administrative standpoint. Employers like to look at Facebook, Twitter and other social networks to learn more about what their candidates are like in real life. But findings on these fronts can be misleading.
In addition, social accounts can reveal personal, potentially bias-creating information such as sexual orientation, race, religion and political affiliation, categories that employers can never use in employment decisions.
Employees, as well as job searchers, should be aware that companies are looking at what they do online. Increasing your privacy settings and thinking more critically about the things you post will always help you avoid trouble.
It is also a good idea to go back through older posts and photographs and delete anything potential employers or current bosses might find objectionable.