Everyone has secrets. Some of us might eat a whole packet of Jaffa Cakes in one sitting; others might have a penchant for the music of Andrew Lloyd Webber. While neither are anything to be especially proud about, they wouldn’t affect our performance at work. Not like, say, having syphoned off some company funds on the sly or having committed gross misconduct.
As recruiting managers, how can you ever tell the Jaffa Cakes eaters from the fraudsters? While the comparison is light-hearted, it is an issue that worries many businesses. How can you ever know if a candidate is hiding anything, especially in these days where ex-employers are not supposed to disclose any ‘incriminating’ information that could adversely impact an individual’s chances of getting a new job? The traditional reference letter is now useless.
Picking through CVs and application forms already form part of the recruitment screening process, so using background screening should simply be ‘the next step’. It typically involves using a third party to obtain ‘proper’ references from former bosses while carrying out criminal and financial checks plus verifying exam grades. Recruiting employers would email application forms across to their partner and wait for a reply.
Usually, the screening firm will be able to provide preliminary results within 24 hours, enough for you to issue a conditional contract of employment, which could be confirmed as permanent upon final receipt of the screening report.
It’s quick, convenient and essential. The report can identify those who were terminated from their last role and why, those that have spent long periods unemployed, those who have CCJs and unspent convictions. It also confirms that candidates have the right to live and work in the UK – get that wrong and the company could face a £10,000 fine.
The recruitment process is a long and costly one, hence it’s worth getting right. Naturally, you won’t ever know if someone emotionally isn’t right for the role, but using background screening is the biggest measure you can take to ensure that you hire an honest and experienced candidate.
About the author:
Stuart writes on behalf of ADP, who provide solutions in HR, time and attendance, and payroll for companies that wish to outsource these services.