Onboarding is one of the latest buzzwords around recruitment, and simply means the process which a company goes through between making a job offer, and then that person starting work. Sometimes there are legal checks to be done, and companies might have their own process for taking up references or making sure people have the qualifications which they claim. Most companies do this in a range of ways – perhaps asking candidates to visit the office with their identity documents or setting up a Zoom call with a former employer to take a reference.
The UK has fairly relaxed rules about what you can call yourself. Many people have one official name on their birth certificate or passport and use another name in everyday life. Officially changing your name by deed poll costs only around £44, and as long as you don’t want to change your name to something offensive or obscene, you are free to swap names as often as you like. It’s also common practice for women to change their surnames when they marry, and to change it back again if they later divorce. But how does all this affect the DBS application process?
Security is big business, and we’re all used to seeing uniformed security staff standing at the entrance to large shops or working at sporting events. Their presence reassures members of the public that the event or business takes customer welfare seriously and can encourage people to stay longer and spend more money. Finding and training professional security staff can be a challenge for many organisations as the role is often seen as hard work, with unsocial hours and lower than average pay. There are also several checks and verification processes which any applicant into the security industry must pass, including a DBS check.
The Department of Transport became the latest in a long list of employers recently to announce that all new employees will have their social media feeds screened as part of the standard pre-employment checking process. Capita, the external agency which will be conducting the checks, will be working across the government transport agencies, including the DVLA and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.
Even before the pandemic hit the UK, the DBS was looking for new ways to communicate with people who have questions about their service or want to track the progress of their application. As part of the more general shift to online services across government departments, the DBS announced the roll-out of a new webchat service for DBS applicants back in April 2022.
Although it’s a job seeker’s market in terms of finding a new job at the moment, employers are not allowing their standards to slip when it comes to vetting the people they want to employ. Employers know only too well that getting a recruitment decision wrong can affect their profits if the new employee performs poorly or turns out to be a security risk. Background checking is usually applied across the board or targeted at specific job positions. If you are applying for a position and then are told that background checking is required, then don’t take it personally. It’s very unlikely that the employer has decided to run extra checks on just you. There are five major categories of background checks which an employer can use, and an employer may choose to use just one, or several.
The idea of performing background checking on people in specific roles is nothing new and is particularly associated with people who intend to work with children. The internet and digital technologies have made it easier than ever for employers to carry out checks on people working for them, and to thoroughly assess job applicants. Statistics from Google show that employers are searching for “best background checking site” twice as much in 2022 as they were in 2021, so if you’re in the market for a new position, it may be something you’ll come up against too.
On 1 April 2022, the laws around people licensed to carry out MOT tests changed. Thousands of garages across the UK carry out MOT tests on cars, vans and other vehicles every year, and the government’s aim is to make sure that not only are testers all testing to the same standard, but also that there is no room for fraud in the system. There are many ways in which this is done, but one of the most recent changes has been the introduction of DBS criminal records checks for MOT testing staff.
Although the worst of the Covid-19 pandemic is – thankfully – over, some of the changes made during the last two years appear to be here to stay. Hybrid working, with workers spending perhaps two days a week in the office and the rest working from home has become commonplace. In a recent industry survey, over half of business owners who were surveyed stated that they expect their business to full embrace flexible working going forward.
We primarily associate the Disclosure and Barring Service with the disclosure checking process – the criminal records checks which are carried out on many new employees. But this isn’t all they do, and recently the DBS has teamed up with campaign groups JobsAware and Cifas to raise awareness of scam practices in the jobs market, and let people know about how any information gained through a scam might go on to be used in the future.