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Posted: October 26, 2020
Our team recently dove into finding the recent hiring and background screening trends, along with what lies ahead as businesses continue to deal with the COVID pandemic.
What Trends are We Seeing Right Now?
Thankfully, we have passed the initial “panic stage” that occurred during the onset of the pandemic when businesses were rapidly sending their employees home. Unfortunately, though, it seems like COVID-19 might continue to impact things for at least the next six-to-nine months.
Here are a few of the trends that we are seeing in the employment and background screening sector. Some of these trends may be short lived while others may be here to stay.
Dealing with the Challenges of Remote Working
Remote working is most likely a short-term deal for many companies, although it does have the potential to be a long term or even a permanent solution. Many companies are getting used to it and it’s working really well. And, keep in mind, office buildings are a big overhead expense that companies could choose to avoid at this time of budget trimming.
Random Drug and Alcohol Testing
If remote working remains a long-term trend, it does present some challenges. In our last podcast, we discussed how drug test positivity rates have been skyrocketing during the pandemic. Many HR professionals have probably had reasonable suspicion training, which involves observing a person’s behavior, being able to smell alcohol and seeing if an employee is stumbling around or slurring. Unfortunately, if your employees are working remotely, you can’t see them, so there’s a good chance that they could be doing something that you don’t know about.
What are some ways to possibly resolve these concerns? We recommend possibly implementing a random drug testing program for your remote employees. While most of your employees are likely to follow your drug and alcohol policies, meaning they aren’t going to be drinking while they’re supposed to at work, if they know that they could be randomly selected at any moment for a random drug test, more employees will follow your policies. While most companies don’t need strict policy like the DOT has for drivers, having a random drug panel test and alcohol testing in place lets your employees know that they would be subject to testing at any given moment.
It is important to keep in mind that it is important to let your employees know of policy changes. It is a good time to start working on updated policies since many companies roll out updated employee handbooks at the start of the year. This gives you a couple of months to get a random drug program in place.
Ongoing Criminal Monitoring
If you are concerned about not knowing what is going on with your employees while they are working remotely, we also recommend an Ongoing Criminal Monitoring program. What your employees do outside of work can be detrimental to the work they are doing while they are on the clock, affecting your brand, your company, or your other employees. Ongoing Criminal Monitoring on a monthly basis, a quarterly, bi yearly, or a once a year basis can help mitigate risks.
As we look ahead to the coming months, it important to keep in mind that we are in an election year, meaning that there is much potential for legislative updates, regardless of who is elected in November. It is important to check with your CRA to make sure they have the proper processes in place to notify you of any changes that will affect your ability to stay compliant.