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The world is (hopefully) getting back to normal soon now that vaccines are readily available to the general public. That means we can move back into our offices and begin the daily grind alongside each other once again. Right? That may be true for some, but many companies will likely decide to keep part of their workforce remote or offer flex positions.

The COVID-19 pandemic has fundamentally transformed the office workspace. A recent study by LiveCareer found that 61% of employees want their employer to let them work in a remote capacity indefinitely. Also, 29% of working professionals go so far as to say that they would quit if they had to return to the office after the pandemic. That leaves companies set on returning to the typical 9-5 in-office workspace in quite a predicament.

If you were one of the many companies delaying implementing remote positions pre-COVID-19, you weren’t alone. Among many reasons, companies feared productivity issues would be a logistical nightmare. And, while there have certainly been some bumps along the way, many companies have effectively implemented remote positions. A recent survey by Mercer, a human resources and workplace benefits firm, showed 94 percent of 800 employers surveyed indicated productivity was the same or higher with their employees working remotely.

Many companies are considering drastically downsizing their office space for the coming year and offering flex positions.

According to a survey from the consulting firm, PwC found that executives and employees are converging around a post-pandemic future with a lot more flexibility, yet few are prepared to completely abandon the office space. As a result, by design or default, most companies are heading toward a hybrid workplace where a large number of office employees rotate in and out of offices configured for shared spaces.

That seems to confirm LiveCareer’s further findings. Thirty percent of professionals surveyed said that if going back to the office is inevitable, they’d like to work there three days a week. Twenty-five percent said two days a week, and 19% said one day. Just 9% said four days.

So, what does this mean for you? And how does this affect hiring and background checks?

Remote hiring was likely a fast-tracked implementation for many, so now is the perfect time to reflect on what did and did not work over the last year. What steps of the hiring process can now be improved and secured?

Here are our hiring tips for the post-COVID-19 reality:

  • Clearly define your background check requirements per position. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) already recommends this to avoid disparate impact. Adding fully remote or flex job offerings may change the background check selection, so be sure to appropriately update your handbooks or hiring guidelines.
  • Be sure to make it clear if you plan on making a currently remote position in-house once the pandemic is over.
  • Are you going to offer flex positions? If so, be clear on when they are expected to be in the office. For example, will it be one or two specific days a week or days of their choosing, etc…
  • If you require a video interview, be sure to use an application compatible with the most common devices, such as Apple, Android, and Windows.
  • There has been a significant shift in how people shop, resulting in an uptick in hacker activity and an increased need for cybersecurity. Therefore, it’s more important than ever to partner with a background check company that offers an easy-to-use and secure online portal for applicants to enter personal information.

In addition to everything above, it’s important to note that while EEOC recommendations will likely evolve with the new remote/flex working reality, the requirement of strict Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) regulation adherence remains the same.

  1. Always obtain a signed release form.
  2. If a person is denied the position, regardless of the reason, always send a copy of their background check, a Pre-Decision letter, and a copy of their consumer rights.
  3. Follow up with an adverse action letter five business days later.

In these uncertain times, it pays to have a trusted partner who can provide the data you need and the customer support to answer all your questions. Our unparalleled support, combined with our nationwide researcher network, makes SELECTiON.COM® a valuable background check partner.

Our five-star customer support team is not only industry experienced but tenured in their time with our company. Our staff is available to you via phone, email, and chat, Monday through Friday, from 8 am to 8 pm.

SELECTiON.COM® offers employment and education verifications, character reference reports, criminal history reports, and our Search America® locator tool is the largest in the industry with other 1 billion records.

Contact us today to develop a fast and accurate background check program to meet your needs.

NOTE: This article gives a general overview of legal matters. However, it is your responsibility to ensure compliance with all the relevant federal, state, and local laws governing this area. SELECTiON.COM® does not provide legal advice, and we always suggest consulting your legal counsel for all applicant approval matters.

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