Catalent - Asia-Pacific clinical packaging facilities

Continuous Employee Screening in Pharma Industry

The new normal

Prasanthi Sadhu, Editor Pharma Focus Asia

"Continuous screening provides employers with a valuable tool to best evaluate their risks and ensure they place their employees in the most appropriate positions."– Lucia Bone

Performing background verification or screening of new hires has been a practice the world over to ensure the organisation employs individuals that are talented and skilful, and do not have a criminal background/tarnished reputation. While this happens in most industries, screening of potential employees is a well-accepted measure in a highly regulated industry like Pharma. Issues such as crime, theft, fraud and violence can directly affect an organisation’s business irrespective of the industry it operates in. Prescreening potential employee(s) helps organisations streamline the application process and determine if they meet the qualifying requirements.

Prescreening helps recruit the right talent, but that might not prevent an employee from presenting a future risk to the organisation. Even without any criminal background or history of engaging in illegal behaviour, there is no guarantee that current employees do not present a potential risk. Periodic verification or rescreening helps discover the consequences of an employee’s behaviour and allows them to take measures to prevent any unforeseen circumstances. According to the 2017 Asia Pacific Employment Screening Benchmarking Report, only 28 per cent of companies conduct periodic rescreening of their employees. Pharma companies conduct criminal record search, FDA (Federal Debarment) search, OIG search, sex offender search and drug screening etc. Pharma companies perform annual background checks or bi-annual drug tests to ensure employees keep themselves away from resorting to any fraudulent actions.

Taking the employee screening a step further is continuous screening and post-hire monitoring, which can raise a flag about potential risks and thereby reducing occurrence of insider threats. In today’s business scenario, predicting future employee behaviour is an inherent challenge and the abundance of key information availability puts organisations at high risk of losing their brand value. Continuous screening is a way to display due diligence, prevent insider threats, and protect the workplace. It could be the new normal as organisations deal with a dynamic talent pool and find it tough to engage with the millennials in the current digital age.

While employee screening and monitoring is something organisations need to integrate into their policies, it is equally important to safeguard employee interests and morale. Organisations benefit from having an effective continuous monitoring tool(s)/ system that ensure cross-border due diligence and covering gaps, if any. The cover story of this issue talks about the importance of post-hire screening in the pharmaceutical industry.

--Issue 30--

Author Bio

Prasanthi Sadhu

Prasanthi Sadhu, Editor, Pharma Focus Asia