2020 was an unprecedented year reminding us how rapidly change can affect the workplace; 2021 proved to be just as challenging for employers. On the employment background screening front, employers must ensure these changes are reflected in their screening policies. Having an updated company policy in place gives clarity to a background check and protects your company from potential liability around the use of background screening information.

Employers that use background screening methods to vet potential employees are likely aware of their obligations when making employment decisions based on a report’s findings. However, recent laws in states and cities across the U.S. are adding to the list of requirements for communicating adverse actions to applicants. As a result, an employer’s current adverse action policies may no longer be compliant with state and local legislation.

A year of unprecedented challenges resulting from the global pandemic has dramatically shifted how we all attract, hire, screen, and onboard new talent.

Employers across the globe have had to quickly adapt to a new world of hybrid or work-from-home environments, converting to virtual hiring processes in order to complete daily tasks such as interviews and onboarding.

A growing number of states are beginning to implement new identity protection rules that may impact employer background screening. As more court records have personal identifying information (PII) like driver’s license numbers and birth dates removed, background checks will become increasingly difficult.

Here are a few changes that are currently on the horizon:

Michigan Courts to Shield Personal Identifying Information Starting in 2022

According to the SentencingProject.org, nearly one in three adults in the U.S.—or 70 million Americans—have a criminal record, including those who were arrested but not convicted. For many of these individuals, a criminal record creates a significant barrier to employment, even when the record includes only a misdemeanor arrest or conviction.

Changes in background screening legislation are occurring at state and local levels across the U.S. This complex patchwork of regulations creates a complicated landscape for enterprise organizations operating across multiple states and municipalities. Local legislative changes can develop rapidly, so employers must be alert to remain compliant.

There’s been a renewed imperative in human resources to create a culture of safety and belonging at work. Part of delivering on that imperative is conducting background checks on your new hires. A 2020 joint survey between HR.com and the Professional Background Screening Association (formerly the National Association of Professional Background Screeners) revealed that 94% of respondents perform at least one type of employment screening.

On a federal level, legislation intended to ban the question about criminal records on all job applications was introduced in Congress in 2012 and was tabled, but with no vote taken. While the U.S Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) designated exclusion of a criminal record box as a best practice for equitable hiring.

The growth of technology has given consumers more choice than ever before. Providers of goods and services are expected to go beyond the bare minimum, offering an overall experience that produces real value for customers.

The COVID-19 pandemic has further raised consumer standards. Companies are expected to offer new, expanded options for consuming their goods and services that acknowledge and accommodate customers’ safety concerns.

Hospitals and other healthcare organizations are increasingly focused on improving the quality of patient care. This is driven partly by the move to value-based reimbursement models, competition among healthcare companies, and the more recent COVID-19 public health emergency, which put a spotlight on healthcare’s strengths and weaknesses.

With more attention than ever placed on the quality of care, what can healthcare organizations do to improve? Here are a few ideas you should consider.

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