Employee Screening During COVID-19 Made Simple

Employee Screening During COVID-19. Unsurprisingly, the virus has had a massive impact on businesses, and the recruitment industry is certainly not immune to that. Companies adapted quickly to survive, and the legacy of COVID-19 may forever change the nature of recruitment and the workplace landscape. CRI Group’s survey revealed that 77 per cent of HR professionals accept that there is a risk that employees can initiate fraudulent activity because of the work-from-home arrangement. The rise in recruitment fraud is creating several challenges – last year, it cost £23 Billion just in the UK. The COVID-19 is set to cost even more. And what is particularly worrying for any HR professional is that fraud in recruitment regularly sees genuine businesses used to add legitimacy to illegal behaviour. 

Background checks and necessary screenings are vital to avoid horror stories and taboo tales that occur within HR, your business or even your brand – simply investing insufficient screening can save you time, money and heartbreak. COVID-19 is adding even more complexity and new challenges to your job:

  1. Money mule scammers specialise in hacking employer accounts at job recruitment Websites like Monster.com and other popular employment search services. Armed with the employer accounts, the crooks are free to search through millions of resumes and reach out to people who are in fragile situations due to COVID-19.
  2. According to jobs site Glassdoor, the virus has sparked new demand for professions related to infectious diseases, which has recorded a more than doubling of job postings with keywords related to coronavirus this month, particularly within the government, healthcare, and biotech and pharmaceuticals.


The recruiters that weather the COVID-19 storm will be those that adapt as the situation unfolds. Outsourcing your background screening is smart and effective. CRI™ Employee Background Checks can reduce the risk of hiring someone who could cause irrevocable damage. Firms spend years, thousands, even millions to brand their products and services and one bad hire can cause loss of capital and reputation to the extent that may bring a business to fail. A robust pre-employment check can help you and your company:

  • Reduce turnover & training costs
  • Gain a competitive edge through the hiring of better people
  • Increase productivity – help your employees be more productive knowing that everyone employed by your company has been screened
  • Set your company apart & win more business
  • Reduce employee-related problems
  • Protect company reputation/brand & customer relations
  • Comply with mandates created by state or federal law for certain industries
  • Increase retention
  • Reduce negligent hiring claims
  • Avoid violence in the workplace (threats of violence & actual violence)
  • Reduce theft & espionage
  • Avoid lawsuits & the costs associated with the defence
  • Avoid loss of goodwill


BS 7858:2019 Standard: A new way to mitigate employee risk during COVID-19

BS 7858:2019 Standard is the revised standard for screening individuals working in secure environments. The far-reaching impact of the COVID-19 outbreak has affected virtually every business and economic sector worldwide. Depending on the global region, the far-reaching implications have hampered (on various levels) the ability to conduct proper and thorough background screening investigations.

In the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates, the countrywide lockdowns forced leaders to close sites and send their workforce home. Many must learn how to manage people working from home (WFH) or remotely for the first time. The previous concerns about productivity, privacy and protecting sensitive information only grew more with the practice of WFH.

They highlighted the vital importance of pre-employment background screening and background investigations. BS 7858:2019 Standard for screening individuals working in secure environments offers a complete solution.

Unfortunately, conducting such investigations in a reliable and timely manner has brought its struggles. The closure of public information sources has dramatically impacted accessing public records to verify previous employment, education and criminal charges.

Drug screening tests have been delayed or postponed until such companies are permitted to reopen their doors for business. On the applicant side, it’s been widely reported that individuals are concerned (and rightly so) about participating in face-to-face interviews. Applicants are concerned with leaving their homes to do a drug test and returning to a work environment that may or may not appear healthy, protected and safe.

Want to know the most crucial factors in the hiring process? 

Download our “Top 10 things every organisation should know about background checks” infographic. Get answers to frequently asked questions about background checks or screening cost, guidelines, check references etc. This eBook of compiled list of background screening related questions taken is the perfect primer for any HR professional, business leader and company looking to avoid employee background screening risks. It provides the tools and knowledge needed to make the right decisions. 


Learn more about how EmploySmart™ can help your company stay protected during these strange and uncertain times. Contact CRI Group™ today.


Who is CRI Group™?

Based in London, CRI Group™ works with companies across the Americas, Europe, Africa, Middle East and Asia-Pacific as a one-stop international Risk ManagementEmployee Background ScreeningBusiness IntelligenceDue DiligenceCompliance Solutions and other professional Investigative Research solutions provider.

We have the largest proprietary network of background screening analysts and investigators across the Middle East and Asia. Our global presence ensures that no matter how international your operations are, we have the network needed to provide you with all you need, wherever you happen to be. CRI Group™ also holds BS 102000:2013 and BS 7858:2012 Certifications, is an HRO certified provider and partner with Oracle.

In 2016, CRI Group™ launched the Anti-Bribery Anti-Corruption (ABAC™) Center of Excellence – an independent certification body that provides education and certification services for individuals and organisations on a wide range of disciplines and ISO standards, including ISO 31000:2018 Risk Management- GuidelinesISO 37000:2021 Governance of OrganisationsISO 37002:2021 Whistleblowing Management System, ISO 37301:2021 (formerly ISO 19600) Compliance Management systemAnti-Money Laundering (AML) and ISO 37001:2016 Anti-Bribery Management Systems.