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Records Watch. What is it and is it right for your business?

These days, employers aren’t asking “if” they should perform background checks—most companies do it as a hiring best practice. Instead, many are wondering “how often” they should be screening their employees. While screening frequency is usually based on business-specific needs, one relatively new option made possible through advances in screening technology is gaining momentum: “records watch.”

“One and done” and screening vs. records watch

Traditional pre-employment background screening is usually performed once, prior to making a job offer to a candidate. While these “one and done” background checks on new employees are important, they only provide insight on an individual’s history at that point in time.  Employees continue to live their lives—and sometimes get in trouble with the law—after they start work, sometimes within a few weeks or months, or sometimes years later.  While a company could schedule rescreenings of all or a portion of their employee population every year or two years, it may be more effective to implement a records watch on the employee population in an ongoing way.

Records watch monitors criminal records sources, for example, for information matching a subject’s identifying information. Different from a “rescreening” program where updated employee background checks are performed on a regularly scheduled basis,  record watch, where permitted under applicable laws, can provide alerts to employers about criminal histories without having to await a scheduled re-screening interval.

Here’s how it works.

  1. The employer uploads and maintains a current employee roster with the background screening company to watch for criminal or motor vehicle record information.
  2. When new and reportable records are matched for current employees, the employer is alerted and provided with a background screening report.

With timely information, you can get proactive

By using this product, companies can better protect their brands, workplaces and relationships from risk. This gives employers the opportunity to initiate intervention or adverse action, without waiting for a periodically scheduled re-screen.


Should your organization be doing it?

Record watch is ideally suited to monitor those positions that require an additional level of trust or certification, particularly those in the healthcare, education, and financial services industries. It’s also relevant to transportation and fleet services, as it alerts an employer to any motor vehicle violations.

If you’re curious about continuous screening and wondering if it’s right for your business, we can help. At First Advantage, we specialize in building robust employment screening programs for organizations of all sizes. Please reach out to your First Advantage Account Manager with any questions or concerns.

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