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Court Closures During Covid-19 Effect Background Checks

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By Author: Abhishek Sarswat
Total Articles: 24
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The pandemic is making life difficult for everyone. It has effected recruitment process of companies also extensively, that is, it impacted recruiting, interview, and background check processes, among many other “normal” hiring activities. You’re no longer able to meet candidates face-to-face before hiring them, underscoring the importance of completing background checks. Simultaneously, boundless terminations may restrict the capacity of verification companies to get to vital data like court reports and education records. Hardest hit states face more and more difficulties. It has effected the functioning of background screening companies as well.

A background screening company verifies the background of a person to check the true identity of the person. Most of the activities of these companies can be conducted online, but there are some activities which can be done offline only in most cases. Once such case is verifying criminal records through courts. For specific information related to a particular case of background verification, you must visit or contact the court in which the action was filed. But due to the pandemic, courts have closed in most parts of the world and very few utilize electronic record systems. If a court utilizes electronic record systems, they experience less delay and courts that require in-person records retrieval experience significant delays.

Such delay in court procedures will put the background checks in pending status. These pending background checks include employee background screening also. Hence it disrupts the whole recruitment process of companies. Disruption is minimal for some verification agencies. Many of the pre employment screening companies who have adapted to the latest technology are the ones coping up with the situation. They are handling the crisis well and making a mark above all competitors. Court closures have adversely effected completion of background checks of other companies.

If employers must conduct background checks before hiring employees, then they have two options in front of them:

1) Hire employees using self-disclosure information
For job positions to be filled in quickly, hire the candidates now by making them fill the self-disclosure form for necessary information. If the information in this form is satisfactory, then employers can hire them for now and later when the situation improves, pending background checks can be executed or completed through background check companies. If a background check later runs to compare against the self-disclosure, the employer must consider applicable federal, state, and local laws regarding withdrawing offers or terminating employment based on background checks. Also, asking potential hires to provide criminal conviction information needs to be done abiding by all laws existing in that particular state or country.

2) Postpone joining dates of employees
As the background checks are pending and on-boarding can’t be completed, joining dates of candidates are postponed by employers. Only then employers can successfully complete background checks and hire the right employees.

These measures are taken by most employers seeing the longevity of the pandemic. They are hoping for courts to open soon and restart the pending background checks. Till then they have to face the uncertainty of candidates looking for better options and other opportunities. This is a huge problem when it comes to recruitment process.

More About the Author

Abhishek Sarswat is a blogger cum writer who likes to speak about security and safety issues. In free time, he loves to eat and travel.

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