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Best Practices for Screening Existing Employees 061208

Best Practices for Screening Existing Employees 061208

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Real world best practices for conducting background checks on existing employees.
Real world best practices for conducting background checks on existing employees.

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Published by: LexisNexis Risk Division on Aug 14, 2008
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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06/29/2010

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StrengtheningSecurity rom Within
Best Practices for Conducting Successful Background Checkson Existing Employees
 
Strengthening Security rom Within
Best Practices for Conducting Successful Background Checks on Existing Employees
Screening your company’s existing workforce can be a critical component in your overall security plan. But the process is far from simple—and is often intimidating. Learn from one company that hasnavigated the complexities, and consider their strategies to help you plan the process.
Preemployment background screeningis now considered a standard practice in Corporate America.Very ew companies, however, are crossing the threshold to conduct screens on their existingworkorce. It’s a complex endeavor, and to be successul, companies need to walk a fne line betweenaddressing legitimate business and security risks and not alienating employees along the way.In 2007,LexisNexisundertook the huge challenge o background screening its existing U.S.workorce, a base o approximately 6,000 employees— including a screen or criminal violations.“As the head o HR or the U.S., I can tell you that this initiative, without question, could have beenperceived as the most negative program that we potentially could have ever rolled out,” said LindaHlavac, Senior Vice President o HR. “We had to navigate each decision careully, with the utmostdiscretion at every turn, and ensure we designed a multiaceted and comprehensive employeecommunications plan.”Thereore, to create an atmosphere o sharing and communication to minimize employee concern,LexisNexisdeveloped a ourphased approach to create a winwin or the company and theemployees.
Phase I: Pre-Launch Process Design
Formulate the Initial Process Design
To kick o the employeescreening initiative, LexisNexis ormed a core design team that consistedo senior members rom HR, Legal and Security. Together, this team created the guiding principlesor the process design, which in turn, drove the rollout and employee education eorts. Theundamental design principles were as ollows:Principle #: Make a plan to overeducate and overcommunicate with employees.Principle #2: Assume positive intent on the part o the employees and don’t rush to judgment.Principle #3: Keep the entire process simple, easy to understand, and as short as possible.Principle #4: Ensure confdentiality throughout the process.The team also defned the background checks themselves— including a review o criminalconvictions, such as trustrelated crimes o deceit, dishonesty or raud (e.g., thet, embezzlement).Thus, the team decided to screen or identity authentication, clearance against the Ofce o ForeignAsset Control (“OFAC”), and national, multistate and county criminal record searches. Togetherthese checks would cast a wide net across the U.S.
 
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Get Executive Buy-In
Once the process design began taking shape, the threeperson steering committee sought buyinrom all Clevel managers in the U.S. During a series o executive briefngs, the team presented theproposed process design, and took the time to help these managers understand the process, theimplications and the rollout strategy.Once the process was designed and senior executives were on board, the design team startedwriting policies, procedures and general parameters around program rollout and employeecommunication. The steering committee then turned the program over to an implementation team—now tasked with execution across the business.This implementation team was crossunctional in makeup— and consisted o managers rom awide diversity o roles, including:Human resources (generalists)HR inormation systemsSecurityInormation technologyLegalRepresentatives rom the background screening providerInternal communications
Conduct Pilot Programs
Beore launching the program companywide, LexisNexis launched a series o pilot programs, tomake sure the processes and decision logic were sound. The frst pilot screened a small group o senior HR leaders and the implementation team. Once that was done— and minor correctionsmade— the team ran a larger pilot, which screened all the U.S. leaders in HR, legal and securitydepartments, dialing in the review process along the way.“We thought it was important to do these groups frst, to demonstrate to employeesthat the individuals who could potentially be doing investigations, viewing data ormaking recommendations on potential employee actions had already gone throughthis process themselves,” said Tom Smith, Vice President o HR and implementationteam leader.
Phase II: Process Roll-Out
Once the pilot program concluded, LexisNexis was ready to start screening the general employeepopulation. Because o the sheer size o the organization, however, screening all 6,000 employees atonce was simply not easible.“The process o conducting, reviewing and evaluating employee results takes time—and thousands o results coming back at once would have caused a major processbottleneck,” explained Smith.

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