An Intro to Workforce Monitoring: Continuous Criminal Monitoring
August 17 2021
Did you know that 10 million arrests are made in the United States each year? Are you certain that none of your current employees are one of those 10 million? You probably already have background screening processes in place to protect your organization during the hiring process, which is an excellent first step in ensuring safety and security. The next step? Establishing ongoing screening protocols for your existing team. That’s where workforce monitoring steps in.
Continuous criminal monitoring is a real-time background check. You may have heard it referred to as workforce monitoring, arrest monitoring, criminal records monitoring, or something similar. Continuous monitoring provides near-real-time alerts about new criminal activity within your current workforce.
Unlike traditional criminal background screening, continuous criminal monitoring is not a historical database search. While a pre-employment background check finds convictions that occurred prior to the day the background check was run, continuous monitoring searches 24/7 for arrests across the country. This alerts employers to new criminal activity the moment it happens, rather than waiting for an annual background check (if they even run re-screens). This solution empowers companies to monitor criminal activity post-hire. The benefit? A safer workplace and more fair chance hiring opportunities.
How does workforce monitoring work?
Criminal monitoring programs scan arrest data across the country 24/7, constantly looking for your employees’ names.
What happens next will vary depending on the screening company managing your continuous criminal monitoring program. At InfoMart, a new arrest triggers an alert in our system. We then follow the next steps you chose at the start of your program. Our clients get these options:
- Arrest Alerts: One of our criminal department experts reviews the information to ensure nothing is missing. From there, a QA analyst performs a secondary review. It is then sent to you as a completed consumer report. This level provides the information you are looking for in the fastest amount of time.
- Verified Alerts: The same procedure is followed as the near-real-time-alert level, except instead of sending the report immediately to you, InfoMart’s experts contact the booking agency and confirm all of the information. This level is perfect for companies wanting an extra layer of confirmation before receiving the consumer report.
- Court Tracked Alerts: Rather than reporting the information to you immediately, our team monitors the arrest for several weeks to see if it becomes a court case. If it does, the information is reported to you.
No matter which account setting you choose, you will receive a completed consumer report. As an added benefit, users have the ability to move a booking event to a higher level of tracking if they would like to receive more information. For example, if you’re currently receiving arrest alerts but want more information about a specific booking event, you can escalate to the verified alerts or court tracked levels.
It is important to note that there are certain states and jurisdictions that do not allow the use of raw arrest information. For an added layer of compliance to your workforce monitoring program, any booking events that occur in those states will automatically be moved to the court tracked alerts level in order to remain compliant, at no additional cost to you. These jurisdictions include but are not limited to: California, Georgia, Illinois, and Massachusetts.
Are criminal monitoring results compliant?
Once you have received your completed consumer report, you can make a decision regarding the employee’s employment based on your organization’s policies and procedures. The results are actionable, so termination is a consideration if necessary. However, depending on the nature of the booking event and your policies, continuous criminal monitoring provides your organization with the ability to suggest counseling for struggling employees, as well as strengthen your second-chance opportunities. If you’re unsure how an employee’s arrest should factor into your post-hire employment decision, the EEOC’s Enforcement Guide is available to assist in the decision-making process.
Additionally, implementing continuous criminal monitoring bolsters your fair chance hiring processes and compliance with the Federal Fair Chance Act. You will be able to relax your current pre-employment criminal history disqualifiers without sacrificing safety and security. Continuous monitoring provides a safety net, allowing you to make employment decisions based on current behavior rather than past convictions. For more information on the Federal Fair Chance Act and other “ban-the-box” laws, read more here.
Frequently Asked Questions
Workforce monitoring also makes employees feel safer at work, which improves employee morale and company loyalty.
As the latest innovation in background screening, continuous criminal monitoring is the solution HR, security, and legal all agree on. Strengthen your fair chance hiring program and bolster second-chance opportunities while also retaining peace of mind regarding the safety and security of your organization.
For a deeper dive into continuous criminal monitoring and a first look into the platform, watch our webinar Criminal Monitoring 101: How to Proactively Approach Employee Safety & Security.
Is criminal monitoring different than recurring screening or annual background checks?
Yes. Like a pre-employment background check, re-screening is a static, delayed snapshot of an employee’s criminal history. Because it only finds new criminal activity at the time of the re-screen, the arrest may have occurred 8 months prior to the new background check. Continuous criminal monitoring is a real-time background check that is run 24/7, so it provides information as soon as the arresting agency enters it into the system.
What is a booking event?
Will I need to amend my hiring and employment policies to implement criminal monitoring?
Probably. Talk to your legal counsel before amending any employment policies.
Is workforce monitoring compliant?
We can only speak to InfoMart’s process, which is compliant. Here are the things you should ask about to determine if another screening provider’s criminal monitoring solution is compliant (or just work with InfoMart!):
- How does it account for state and local laws that don’t allow for use of arrest information?
- Does it solve for California’s “fresh consent” requirements?
- Are individualized assessment processes incorporated within the user interface?
- Do results come back via an actionable consumer report, regardless of the search tier I’ve chosen?
How can I use continuous criminal monitoring to improve my fair chance hiring practices?
Criminal monitoring empowers companies to expand their hiring pools to include candidates with prior criminal histories. HR managers will receive an alert if new criminal behavior arises, so an unrelated arrest from 8 years prior isn’t an immediate disqualifier.
About Tammy Cohen
Tammy Cohen, an industry pioneer and expert in identity and employment screening, founded InfoMart 30 years ago. Deemed the “Queen of Screen,” she’s been a force behind industry-leading innovations. She was most recently the first-to-market with a fully compliant sanctions search, as well as a suite of identity services that modernizes talent onboarding. Tammy revolutionized the screening industry when she stepped into the field, developing the first client-facing application and a due diligence criminal search that has since become standard for all background screening companies. Cohen has received national awards and honors for her business and civic involvement, including Atlanta Business Chronicle’s Top 25 Women-Owned Firms in Atlanta, Enterprising Women Magazine’s Enterprising Women of the Year award, the YWCA of Northwest Georgia’s Kathryn Woods Racial Justice Award, and a commendation in the 152nd Congressional Record. To learn more about Tammy, visit www.tammycohen.com.
InfoMart has been revolutionizing the global background and identity screening industry for 30 years, providing businesses the information they need to make informed hiring decisions. They develop innovative technology that modernizes talent onboarding, including a first-to-market biometric identity authentication application and a verified sanctions search. The WBENC-certified company is a founding member of the Professional Background Screening Association, and they have achieved PBSA accreditation in recognition of their consistent business practices and commitment to compliance with the FCRA. The company is dedicated to customer service, speed, and accuracy, and it has been recognized for its success, workplace culture, and corporate citizenship with over 45 industry awards. To Get the Whole Story on InfoMart, please visit www.InfoMart-USA.com, follow @InfoMartUSA, or call (770) 984-2727.