The number of employers who require cohesive, thorough background checks conducting on current and prospective employees is rising. With the increased demand for compliance across various industries, more and more employers are performing a growing number of background checks.
Some of these surround a person’s identity and criminal record history while others are more specific, pertaining to an individual’s financial trustworthiness and social media usage, to confirm suitability for a particular role.
What is a Background Check?
A background check will investigate a current or future employee’s history, based on a specific set of criteria determined by their employer or governing body.
Employment background checks may include verification of a candidate’s criminal record, credit history, driving and education qualifications. Each type of check will reveal different information pertinent to that particular check.
Why are Background Checks Important?
Employers working across different industries may require specific background checks, in order to remain compliant with industry bodies such as the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), Security Industry Authority (SIA) and more. There are standards which are set out which outline the ‘best practices’ for these organisations.
For the majority of employers, background screening is a crucial (and often essential) part of the recruitment process. However, the balance of filling job roles after shortlisting large numbers of candidates, while staying compliant, has only been exacerbated by COVID-19. Not only are companies regularly trying to stay compliant with various standards and regulations, but anytime a position is available, they are having to rely on numerous third parties for reliable and quick checks to be carried out.
Not to mention that any company who doesn’t carry out background checks are opening the door to a plethora of issues down the line. Hiring someone without the right to work in the UK, or who is perhaps prohibited from working with children, poses a huge range of human resource, financial and legal problems. So the importance of thorough background checks cannot be understated.
As far as employers are concerned, here are 10 areas they should consider if they want to stay compliant and make more effective hiring decisions.
10 Background Checks to Introduce
- DBS checks (criminal record checks)
DBS checks reveal spent (and unspent) convictions or cautions, which may pose a conflict for a candidate working with children and vulnerable adults. These checks must comply with the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (ROA) 1974 and the Police Act 1997. Although all hires are made at the employer’s discretion, barred list checks may be required as part of an Enhanced DBS check. If someone is on a barred list, they are legally prohibited from working with children or vulnerable adults.
- Social media checks
Social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter are valuable resources for identifying and recruiting candidates. However, it’s difficult to source applicants, not to mention screen them for any negative activity or potential conflicts of interest.
- Personal ID checks
Personal identity checks confirm that candidate identification is legitimate, and that they hold no fraudulent documentation. This could mean they are not who they say they are.
- Credit checks
Validating a candidate’s credit search history and credit score gives employers a good indication that they are suitable to handle the finances of others.
- Right to Work checks
Employing someone illegally for working in the UK has serious implications. These checks should be implemented by every employer. Read more about employees’ right to work here.
- Driving licence checks
These checks look at an applicant’s driving record, unveiling any penalty points or disqualifications they did not disclose. This may pose an issue if an employee is required to drive for their role, and are not permitted to do so.
- Higher Education checks
These checks confirm the highest qualification obtained by an applicant, confirming the validity of that qualification. These checks also confirm the date, level, subject and grade obtained.
- AML checks
Anti-money laundering checks verify candidates in compliance with the Money Laundering Regulations 2017.
- Sanction search
These checks verify a candidate against a consolidated list of targets listed by the EU, UN and UK under financial sanction legislation.
This verifies if a candidate is, or has been, bankrupt at any point in the last 6 years.
How Long Does a Background Check Take?
The length of time it takes to complete an employment background check varies from employer to employer. But if they outsource their checks to an organisation like Eurocom CI, they’re getting swift turnaround times with plenty of additional benefits.
Not only are there no sign-up costs, but each screening is vetted and verified by more than one person. All references are appropriately and swiftly followed up with, and our software is easy-to-use.
If you’re struggling with keeping on top of your background checks, why not book a call with Eurocom CI today?