Most people living in the UK will have heard of Experian, one of the country’s largest credit checking agencies. Experian is the company which will help you work out your credit score and will provide a report on your financial history when you try to take out a new credit card or loan. Credit checking is only required for certain job roles, mostly those including access to other people’s money in banks, building societies or similar. However, Experian do offer other checking services too, and this could apply to many more people applying for jobs.
Increasingly, employers are going to greater lengths to look into the backgrounds of people applying to work in their organisations. Taking on an unsuitable employee can be very damaging in terms of both reputational damage and profit. In the worst-case scenario, a serious fraudster could get into the company and start siphoning off funds right away. Perhaps more common is the chance you could take on someone who has lied on their CV, has exaggerated their accomplishments, and just isn’t up to the job.
Why Outsource to Experian?
Each employer will have their own processes for checking the background of people working for them. For a very basic, entry-level job, pre-employment checks might start and finish with a quick look at someone’s passport to make sure they are in the UK legally. For a senior position or one involving working with children or vulnerable groups, the checks are much more complex. People working in healthcare or education roles will probably need an enhanced DBS check, which looks into their criminal record. Companies might want to check stated academic qualifications, especially in roles where the qualification is key to the role. Reference checking involves verifying that the person did indeed hold the role they stated, during the dates stated.
All of this checking takes time. In a company with a rolling programme of recruitment, checking references, contacting academic institutions, and doing credit checks could easily be a full-time job. Many employers decide to outsource their pre-employment checking to a third-party company, to free up time and cut costs. A company like Experian has the experience in checking identities and financial history and provides pre-employment checks to a wide range of employers.
Navigating Pre-Employment Checks
If your prospective employer tells you that they are using Experian, or any other company, for pre-employment checks, it’s nothing to worry about. They can’t access any special or secret information about you. A referencing company will look at things like the electoral roll to make sure you were living where you said you were or contact previous employers to verify references. The key thing to remember is to be honest on your application form. If you’re unsure about when you worked for a previous employer, contact them and ask. If you guess and get it wrong, this might flag up as you not being honest about your work history. Never be tempted to embellish your work experience – you will be found out.