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How Do I Know What Pre-Employment Screening I Need?

How Do I Know What Pre-Employment Screening I Need?
The umbrella term of pre-employment screening is made up of countless different types of background checks, and understandably it can be confusing trying to decide which checks you need for a new starter. As experts in pre-employment screening, it’s our job to help set you on the right path.

Here’s our guide to choosing what screening checks should be done on new employees.

Firstly, some screening is simply essential, no matter the role.

Some background checks are essential, regardless of anything to do with the role or industry (if you want to know why, we’ve written a whole blog about that!).

Here are the top 4 essential screening checks:

  • Firstly, making sure that your candidate holds the right to work is a legal requirement, which if found guilty of failing to check, could lead you to 5 years in jail and an unlimited fine. Ensuring that your new starter holds the correct right to work status is simply crucial.
  • Tying into this, another foundation element of any screening process is ID verification, which basically means confirming your candidate is who they say they are.
  • Next up, verifying a candidate’s work history through the process of referencing. This helps to confirm that they hold the experience they claim, and make sure they have the skills required within their new role. It also helps to establish trust through determining their honesty on their CV; as discussed in another insightful blog all about CV fact Vs fiction, 35% of CV lies involve extending the dates of previous employment to make a candidate seem more experienced. We therefore recommend a 3-year work history check as being essential.
  • Finally, we recommend a basic criminal record check for any industry and role. It is your responsibility to safeguard all of your employees, and it is also important to safeguard your business from fraud, theft and reputational damage. A criminal record check can reveal any previous instances of harm committed by the candidate and help to defend against potential future issues.

Based on the seniority of the role

The more senior the role, the more in-depth the screening should be. For staff who do not work with high level information and are in what could be deemed as ‘low risk’ roles, a simple array of the essential checks is enough to ensure compliance and give you peace of mind.

For managerial roles it is important to look further and conduct more in-depth screening, for example extending further from 3, to 5-year work history checking, and conducting a full criminal record check. We also recommend including other checks such as credit and 5-year address verification in order to gain a bigger picture into your candidate. They will have a larger influence on the company, and you need to be able to trust them.

Finally, senior, high level roles require a full array of screening checks, including establishing their previous directorships, and a full check of their qualifications. Sanction and adverse media screening are also important as directors and high level employees represent the company, with their actions being more likely to affect the reputation of the business than those of a manager or lower level employee.

Based on the job activities

Another way to decide what checks to do are to establish the activities involved in the role. This can sometimes be a more crucial factor than the seniority of the role, as some jobs involve sensitive information or particular screening, even within what would be considered a low-level position within that company.

A primary example of this would be in a call centre. A phone operator who is involved in sales and cold calling may not require in-depth screening as this is a position that does not give them access to sensitive customer information. A phone operator at a bank, however, would require detailed screening to establish that they do not have a history of fraud or theft and can be trusted with the kind of sensitive customer information banking involves.

Based on the industry

The final element relates to the industry in which your business operates. Many roles and companies are subject to industry standards which must be met to uphold compliance. Examples of this includes chartered accounting, where candidates must complete ACCA, ACA or CIMA qualifications, and chartered surveying which requires candidates to be a member of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

What if I’m still not sure?

If you’re still not sure, don’t panic! Luckily, with over 10 years of experience we know all of the important stuff so that you don’t have to. We’ve created a really handy industry hub with recommendations for checks within a variety of industries, for a range of roles with varying seniority and job activities.

And if you can’t find what you’re looking for, we are always here to help.

Get in touch with a member of our friendly team to discuss your needs, and we can build a bespoke package of screening checks to ensure peace of mind, and that your business remains compliant.