COVID-19 caused many companies to shift to remote workforces. But then something interesting happened along the way: Many companies realized their employees could still be productive, even if they weren't in the office. As a result, more and more of these companies are making the move permanent.
With this shift to a remote workforce, companies need to reconsider many aspects of their business.
Think things like IT support for employees, leases on facilities (do they need as much space now?), and plenty of HR issues, including pre- and post-hire employee screening. Regarding the latter, here's what you should keep in mind if your organization is making the shift.
1. Verifications are going to be even more important now.
Why? Well, for one thing, more and more interviews will be conducted remotely (whether by phone or video conferencing). Verifications can provide an extra layer of security that the person is who they say they are.
Second, because the hiring process is happening remotely "in the cloud," it can be easy to dismiss the verification process as unnecessary or overly cumbersome. But verifying things like employment history, education, and certifications is a straightforward request for reputable background check companies.
2. You'll need to rethink your drug and alcohol policy, including how/when you screen.
Let's pretend it's three o'clock in the afternoon on a Thursday. Your marketing manager, who now works from home, has a few glasses of wine as she wraps up her workday.
OK? Not OK? How can your organization monitor this?
Let's add some complexities to the above scenario. Let's say the employee finishes her work at five o'clock after having consumed three glasses of wine since three. At five thirty, she goes to pick up her child and her child's friends from soccer practice. She gets into a car accident on the way home.
Yes, these are the sorts of scenarios that can keep an HR manager awake at night!
Obviously, the above is an extreme example, but hopefully our point is clear: You will need to review and likely revise your drug and alcohol policy (including the drug screening protocols) if your organization moves to a permanent work-from-home situation.
And no—you shouldn't do this on your own. You'll want to work with your background check vendor and a lawyer, whether in-house counsel on your side or the background check vendor's side (or both).
3. You'll need to make sure you're working with an employee screening vendor that has a strong national "presence."
If your organization makes the move to a permanent remote workforce, you'll have many more options when it comes to attracting great talent since you won't be limited by location. This is a good thing!
But the fact you'll be hiring people from all over the U.S. means you'll need to work with an employee screening vendor that has a strong national presence. This is especially important when it comes to criminal background checks and drug testing.
- Criminal background checks. An accurate criminal history check involves good technology and savvy humans. Of the 3,000+ county, state, and federal court jurisdictions in the Unites States, Good Egg is directly integrated with all that are online (over 1,000). Our extensive network of court researchers examines the rest.
- Drug testing. If you want to continue with pre-hire and post-hire drug testing, you'll want to work with a vendor that has plenty of options when it comes to collection sites. For example, at Good Egg, we work with over 12,000 collection sites across the nation, meaning that regardless of where your candidate or employee lives, there will likely be a convenient collection site for them to go to.
4. Social media monitoring will become a must-have screen if you want to maintain a productive, safe, and supportive virtual workforce.
Just because people are working remotely in their own homes, this doesn't mean the issues that can plague a physical workspace (like harassment or bullying) simply go away. Instead, these bad behaviors move online. Not only that, but they also have the potential of going viral with lightning speed. If you think internal gossip about a workplace bully is bad, just imagine it being amplified across the Internet within hours due to a tweetstorm.
Ongoing monitoring of your remote employees' social media activities is going to be super important. The good news is that social media monitoring can be an excellent, budget-friendly way to keep tabs on problematic online behaviors before they become full-blown headaches.
5. You'll need to work with an employee screening vendor that can help you improve the remote candidate experience.
We wrote an in-depth article about how you can improve the remote candidate experience. Bottom line: You need to make sure you're still delivering a great candidate experience even if you're never in the same room as the candidate. Why? Because studies show that candidates who have a positive experience will continue to have positive thoughts about your company (even if you don't hire them). If they have a poor experience, however, watch out!
Remember, a big part of the candidate experience is the background check process. You'll need to adjust yours so that it works well for remote candidates.
Does your employee screening fit the needs of a remote workforce? Let us help!
We know how to help companies confidently hire remote workers while making the experience a great one for candidates and employers alike. Let's talk about your organization's virtual workforce.