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The level of checking which applicants for new jobs must go through has increased significantly in recent years. Increased fines and enforcement around illegal working has forced employers to run proper identity checks on both permanent and contract workers, and for other positions, employers opt for a thorough background screening check on potential hires. This screening is thought by many large employers to be essential as a way of protecting their business against the cost of hiring someone who then turns out to be unsuitable, is dismissed and then more recruitment done.

Understanding Staff Vetting

Staff vetting is all about investigating a candidate’s background and qualifications before their employment begins. This process is designed to make sure that as far as possible, employees are well-suited for their roles. It also tries to identify any factors that might mean they are unsuitable for the company or workplace. Some industries have standard background checks due to legal requirements, such as those within education, healthcare, and government sectors, where employees often handle sensitive information. Roles in those sectors might need a DBS check or for candidates to prove their academic qualifications. These requirements are usually clearly stated on a job advert.

Consequences of Poor Background Screening

Inadequate background screening, or not bothering to check up on the history of a candidate at all, can have several consequences for a business, whatever its size and industry sector. Without a system for proper background screening, employers can risk a range of consequences including:

  • Inappropriate hires – if you are not fully looking into the background or qualifications of people you are hiring to work for your company, you are risking taking on people who are just not skilled enough. Similarly, if you are applying for a role which requires certain skills, be prepared to prove your qualifications.
  • Fraud – internal fraud and theft can be a serious issue for many businesses and can bankrupt even larger organisations. Taking on someone without taking up references or running a basic DBS check is just asking for trouble.
  • Negligence – if an employer takes on someone who then goes on to cause harm to a colleague or customer, then the employer may be found to be negligent if they haven’t run the right checks before allowing them to start work. These cases are often well-publicised and can in addition bring bad publicity for your company.

For all these reasons, employers are taking background screening more seriously than ever. It’s something to be aware of if you are applying for a position and to be prepared for. Don’t take any requests for original exam certificates or detailed references personally; it’s a level of checking that everyone will have to go through, and you are not being singled out. Employers should be clear about what checks are being done and ask for written permission for things like credit checks. Provide all the information requested as quickly as possible to clear you to start your new position promptly.