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.
Other Background Checks
There are other background checks for individuals that you are allowed to make although you do need to get the person’s consent before performing some of them.
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.