By Diane Zwirecki


As you’ve steered your business through the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, you most likely have had to adjust your hiring and candidate screening procedures a bit – or maybe it’s been a major pivot as you’ve been forced to downsize upsize or re-skill to meet fluctuating customer demand.

Regardless of your company’s circumstances, the pandemic has come down to a seismic shift for just about everyone. What has this meant for background screening as you process and onboard new hires?

You may have noticed some delays.

Temporary court closures across the nation have been the cause of background check delays since the onset of Covid-19. In some cases, reports have taken longer because although courts are open, they have been accepting fewer requests per day as they also adjust staffing and other factors to meet government requirements.

  • The good news is: many records are virtual. So, a lot of information has remained accessible. For instance, in most states, motor vehicle records can still be processed, and so can most drug screening lab results. Education and employment verification have not been too problematic unless a specific company has closed completely or records are not part of the National Student Clearinghouse database.

If you have encountered a delay, you can still proceed in screening and hiring a candidate.

  • One option is conditional hiring. This means hiring an employee under the condition that you will run a background check as soon as possible, review the report, and then make a final hiring decision. It’s best to consult your legal counsel to fully understand your policy and revise it as needed.
  • If you decide to hire someone conditionally and later terminate them based on their final background check report, you need to initiate the FCRA adverse action process.
  • If you’re hiring for a regulated position, you can seek guidance from regulatory agencies regarding exceptions allowed due to extraordinary circumstances brought on by the pandemic. For instance, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issued a temporary waiver that has permitted CDL drivers whose licenses have expired since March 1, 2020, to continue driving commercial vehicles. But keep in mind: This exemption may not apply in all instances.

Do you need to update your screening policy?

Now maybe the perfect time to reevaluate and possibly update your pre-employment screening policy and procedures. Your policy should cover screening practices across your organization and apply to all employees. The specific nature of background check practices may vary based on the nature of the roles you’re hiring and the responsibility level associated with each role. It’s best practice to conduct regular reviews in order to avoid any potential pitfalls.

Despite the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic – or whatever other curveballs are thrown your way – you can continue to screen and drug test prospective employees confidently by partnering with Chane Solutions. Since our founding in 2006, our team has redefined the standards for successfully hiring employees and distinguished itself as a nationwide leader in our industry. Read our related posts or contact us today to learn more.