Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, remote work has helped slow the spread of the virus while allowing companies to stay in business and employees to continue earning a paycheck. Now that a vaccine is available, many companies have resumed on-site operations. Yet, remote work is here to stay.
Many workers have found that they prefer to work remotely at least some of the time. Employers enjoy the benefits of a more engaged workforce, lower office overhead, and access to a nationwide talent pool.
Gartner predicted this summer that, by the end of 2021, over half of global knowledge workers will work remotely – up from about a quarter in 2019.
With a partially or fully remote workforce, you may never meet your new hires in person. However, background checks remain a critical element in the hiring process. In fact, background checks may be more crucial than ever.
Here are four essential facts you need to know about background checks for remote employees:
1. Background Checks Provide Unique Benefits When Hiring Remote Employees
Background checks help employers ensure compliance with applicable laws or regulations concerning their workers’ backgrounds, and they offer an increased sense of trust and confidence in the chosen candidates. These benefits also apply when background checks are performed on remote workers.
Performing background checks on remote-work candidates can provide or enhance other benefits, as well.
First, remote workers handle the same business information that they would handle if they carried out their duties in the office. Much of this information may be sensitive or confidential in nature.
When staff work remotely, the risks of information leaks or carelessness may be heightened. Companies that perform thorough background checks can confirm that their candidates can be trusted to handle this information.
Background checks also provide verification that a candidate’s credentials are authentic and up-to-date.
Remote work often gives workers more independence on day-to-day tasks. Background checks can help you assess whether a worker has the education, experience, and credentials to seek out answers on their own and do the job well.
2. Companies Must Comply With Certain Rules for Background Checks for Remote Employees
The same mosaic of rules and regulations that govern background checks and the handling of the information they uncover generally apply whether the candidate in question will be working in the office or remotely.
For example, under federal regulations, remote-work candidates must be informed of a background check. Companies may need to have the worker sign a disclosure agreement and provide certain key details – such as their contact information or date of birth – before initiating the background check process.
Once you have obtained permission, you may conduct a background check for a remote hire the same way you would conduct a check on an in-house worker. Depending on the job role, this may include checking a candidate’s criminal, employment, or educational histories.
Each state also has its own regulations concerning background checks. Partnering with a background screening company that specializes in performing thorough, compliant background checks can help your company remain compliant from state to state.
3. Frequent Communication With Remote Work Candidates Is Key
While modern communications technology has made remote work possible, it can also cause remote job candidates to feel separated (or even alienated) from your organization.
In remote hiring, communicate frequently with candidates, especially about potentially sensitive topics like background checks. By keeping the candidate in the loop, you can ensure candidates understand what checks will be performed and why they are necessary.
4. An Experienced Partner Can Help You Complete Remote Worker Background Checks in Less Time
Background checks can be complex. A background check may pull information from a wide range of sources to verify a candidate’s criminal background, educational history, work
history, and other details. When added to the complexities of remote hiring and remote work, a background check can feel like one more complex, daunting task to finding the talent your business needs.
Yet, background checks are essential for mitigating risk, complying with regulations, maintaining a safe workplace, and securing the best employees for the job.
By partnering with an experienced background check provider, you can reduce the complexity while increasing the speed of background checks.
The right background check provider will help you meet compliance demands while also providing key information in a timely manner. With a service provider like Chane Solutions on your side, your hiring team can focus on getting to know each candidate, confident that the candidate’s background information will be handled properly and efficiently.