In our earlier article on background checks that might be carried out during the recuitment process, we included a video from the Home Office with some more details on Disclosure & Barring Service checks from the employee’s perspective.
To complete the overview of one of the most common background checks carried out, here’s the complementary video that looks at these checks from the employer’s perspective.
There’s a big trend at the moment towards being the entrepreneur, having your own business and being your own boss and in the previous article, we looked at how this might be right for you. But this isn’t right for everyone and there may come a time where you decide to go back into employment having been self-employed. For recruiters, this can be an unusual proposition where you can easily fall into the trap of thinking someone ‘failed’ and now need a job. So how do both sides handle going from self-employment back into employment?
As a Candidate
When you are the one seeking a job after a period of self-employment, then you need to prepare your CV accordingly. One of the important things to include is what CV writing experts call a mission statement – this is a paragraph that deals with why you want to come back into employment. Make it positive and accurate so if you found that working for yourself meant you missed the team environment, use this. Or maybe technology meant your business idea didn’t work so you want to return to work and test yourself in a new area.
Being self-employed means you have a range of skills that are very appealing to employers. For starters, you can work on your own, are self-motivated and can organise your own schedule. You can work without supervision and achieve aims without someone standing over you. You can also build client relationships and have a range of skills from the type of business you were running that might include IT, software, online skills or even bookkeeping.
As a Recruiter
There are lots of reasons that a person can return to employment after a period of self-employment and few are negative. Maybe they found working on their own all the time demoralising or not suited to their personality – which means they will be a good team member and work well with others. Maybe they found working all those hours left no time for a life – so a job with a reasonably set working pattern will suit them.
Never assume someone’s business failed and that they weren’t good at what they did just because they return to employment. There are lots of reasons why someone would choose to do this and several these can be entirely out of their hands. A spouse’ redundancy meaning they need a guarantee wage is just one example – they are still good at what they were doing but need a steady income.
For both parties, returning to employment can be a bit strange. Some recruiters fall into the habit of thinking there is something wrong with the person for not wanting to be self-employed but this is rarely the case. Being self-employed doesn’t suit everyone and it is better to realise this and make the move than to simply continue in a bad situation. This shows good judgement and a responsible attitude that will make them a good employee for any business going forward.
Finding a new employee is always a big thing for a business of any size. You want the person that you feel has the skills and talents your company needs as well as the personality you feel will blend in well with the team. While CVs, interviews and other tools are crucial, there is one part of the process that can almost be the most important – pre-employment screening checks. But what are they and what checks are allowed?
Right to Work Checks
The first check that you should carry out as an employer is the Right to Work checks. These are designed to ensure that the person you are considering for the role has the right to work in the UK. Employers are required to make this check including seeing original documents that are valid and keep copies of them. If any of the information is incorrect or indicates there may be an issue, you need to make further checks before employing the person.
Formerly known as the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB), the Disclosure and Barring Service provides information via a number of comanies who will carry out a DBS check for employers, to allow them to see if someone has a criminal record. Only employers can apply for a DBS check unless you are screening someone for a voluntary role working in certain areas.
The process involves giving a DBS check form to the potential employee which they complete and this is submitted to the DBS or an umbrella body. A certificate is then sent to the potential employee and you have to ask for this from them. there are three levels, depending on the type of professional you are screening the person for and they take around 8 weeks to complete.
One of the checks commonly done across a wide range of industries is a credit score check. While this doesn’t always tell you whether the person is right for the job, it can give you insight into their lives and any situation that might affect their ability to do their job. In the most extreme cases, financial pressures can lead to problems at work although a poor credit score doesn’t mean someone is a bad employee – don’t read the results as black and white.
If candidates are worried about a potential employer going checking out their financial history, there are plenty of online services where they can get a free credit check done first so that they know what their credit score is (and can also get some information on how to improve it), and are prepared for what any check by a potential employer might reveal.
If the person has any qualifications that are relevant to the job, then it is always a good idea to check these before employing them. It can even be a requirement in some jobs, such as checking a lorry driver has the correct license before allowing them to drive a company vehicle. Failure to check certain qualifications can be very serious.