Every business goes about hiring in a different way, with their own checks and balances to ensure that they are getting the right workers. There is however increasing evidence that a slap-dash approach to recruitment could be damaging to your business in the long run. There’s an obvious balance to be struck between spending a fortune on checking everything, and not doing any checks at all. Here’s our ultimate guide to getting it right for your organisation, and protecting staff, customers and your profits too.
In some cases, background checks are a legal obligation rather than a policy decision. If your company is recruiting in healthcare or education, or indeed for any other role which falls under the remit of “regulated activity”, then you legally have to run DBS checks on these workers. A DBS check is a check into their criminal record, and the information in the certificate should be used to decide whether on balance, someone should be recruited to a specific position. Employees don’t necessarily need a completely clear check, but if you don’t run checks at all, you’re acting illegally as an employer.
Integrity of the Business
Most business owners want to run an operation which is honest, and which has the best qualified people for the job. If you’re not checking into someone’s work history to find out whether their CV is true, you risk hiring people who aren’t qualified and don’t have the skills to keep your customers happy. In the long run, dissatisfied customers will go elsewhere, and your profits will slide. A bit of time spent on the phone fact-checking can pay huge dividends in the long run. A very high percentage of CVs contain lies or a bit of embellishment. Some aren’t important, but if someone’s claiming membership of a certain professional body, or an academic qualification, it doesn’t take long to check.
Safety for Staff
Even in positions where criminal records checking isn’t a legal requirement, staff might still be asked about criminal records, or reasons for leaving previous places of employment. No organisation wants to hire someone who was recently fired for a violent assault on a colleague. Always check gaps on CVs, and reasons for leaving previous positions. Often, it’s worth calling up a previous employer and speaking “off the record” if you have doubts; staff are often reluctant to express concerns in emails or letter for risk of legal action in the future.
Taking on someone who you haven’t checked out thoroughly can leave your business open to huge financial losses too. A robust recruitment process doesn’t let you off the hook in developing internal checks and balances but might help weed out fraudsters intent on clearing the company bank account. Many financial organisations run credit checks on prospective workers, trying to filter out people with large debts who may be tempted to commit fraud. The exact method of checking isn’t set out in law, and it’s always good practice to get candidates’ permission to run any checks against their names.