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Identifying Threats from Within: Annual Screening of Employees

Identifying Threats from Within: Annual Screening of Employees

Managing a successful business is no easy feat when you factor in risks such as competition, inventory and staffing. What many businesses don’t take into account is the liabilities they may face from current staff who may have been involved in illicit activities outside of work. Employees with inclinations towards activities that violate company policy rely upon the fact that their job will stop looking into their background once they are hired. Annual updates of personnel records that include the same background check you perform upon hiring is something that many companies overlook, but can have a significant positive impact on overall operations.


The most recent nationwide study conducted by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) concluded that 26% of all workplace violence was committed by someone the victim had a working relationship with. Even worse, 21% of all workplace homicides recorded were committed by another employee within the organization. These numbers become especially meaningful when you consider that OSHA reports that “nearly 2 million American workers become victims of workplace violence each year”. These are troubling statistics to look at, but there are also plenty of non-violent crimes that can hurt the success of a company.

Earlier this year a study was conducted to find out how often employees are found to have stolen from their workplace. An astounding 75% of employees have admitted to stealing at least once from their employer, and 37.5% have stolen more than once. These may have been minor things such as office supplies, but depending on the type of products your company sells or who is managing your finances the cost to your organization can soar. With so many repeat offenders it also should raise questions about whether their activities stop at the workplace, or may have been taken to other levels you should know about.

The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) conducted a nationwide study of 400,000 ex-offenders from 30 different states to see how likely it was that they were properly rehabilitated. The ugly truth is within two years of being released from prison 67.8% ended up in trouble again, and that number climbed to over 75% during a five year span. It should be old news by now that most states have pushed towards the Ban-the-Box policy on employment applications, but it is statistics like these that demonstrate the need to still know who is being hired. Conducting a pre-employment background check after the initial application was submitted is still legal when considering a new hire. In order to protect your assets, which includes all of your staff, incorporating a complete background check on all employees before bringing them on-board should be a standard.

The newest type of technology available to protect businesses is automated background monitoring of employees. These services will scan for new criminal activity connected to current employees on a regular basis, and send a notification should something be detected. This technology is becoming a requirement for certain industries with employees that handle sensitive products such as consumer information, money or anything that may be federally regulated. The threat of identity theft is huge, and governing bodies such as the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB) aim to minimize anything that could potentially harm consumers.

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