Recruitment can be an anxious time for any business. Whilst it is exciting to be bringing new blood and ideas into any company, or if the need to recruit is due to plans for growth and development, recruitment poses its own challenges and the potential of opening the business up to various forms of risk.
Allowing a new and unknown person access into the inner workings, knowledge and resources of the business can be stressful; how can a company be certain that this person will be who they say they are and have the competencies and qualifications they claim to have?
How they can be sure an applicant will share the ethos and culture held by the company and undertake tasks in line with expectation, and provide customers with the experience that the business has worked hard to build a reputation for?
How can a business know that this person will be a “good fit” and not destabilise current teams and positive working relationships? How does a business know that the potential recruit is legitimate and honest in their intentions and will not abuse the assets and opportunities the company provides?
Pre-employment screening is the undertaking of various checks to verify an applicant’s identity, education and employment history, any historic criminality and other aspects of the individual depending on the depth and range of checks undertaken. This holds many benefits and not just in terms of direct risk reduction for the company:
- Recruiting higher quality applicants:
Studies have shown that pre-employment screening leads to the recruitment of a better employee.
This starts at the point of application where the company makes potential employees aware that screening will be part of the recruitment process which deters individuals who know they are unlikely to pass this or that they will be found out if they are dishonest in their claims of past working experience or qualification.
This immediately filters out some of the less scrupulous potential applicants saving time and money for the business in the recruitment process. Awareness of pre-employment screening also encourages those that do apply to be wholly honest in their application, meaning the avoidance of smaller embellishments or additions to work history or competence. This helps a company to really know and understand the person applying for the job and to make fully informed decisions about who they hire, which leads to recruitment of the (genuinely!) most suitable candidate for the job.
- Protecting the business from future harm:
Pre-employment screening allows an individual’s identity to be fully verified; employees who intend to commit fraud or other misconduct within their work role will avoid this and may provide false addresses or documents. Employee screening will spot this and ensure that these people are dropped from the recruitment process.
Pre-employment screening also enables verification of the person’s claims as to where they have worked before and how this went, as well as the qualifications and skills they report they hold; this allows the business to become aware of any details the applicant may have omitted such as an employment role they were dismissed from due to theft or negligence, a qualification that they did not actually complete or a record of regular sickness leave being taken from a previous job.
Pre-employment screening can provide reassurance that the person is being honest about their abilities and work ethic, and give the potential employer a good idea of the kind of worker the applicant is. This reduces risk of employing a potential perpetrator of harm towards the company.
- Protecting the business from future legal action:
Employers can be held liable for the behaviour or actions of an employee within their company if they were negligent in the recruitment process; this can result in heavy financial penalties or legal action for the business.
If, for example, it transpired that a fork lift truck driver did not have the up to date licence they claimed at the interview to have and they injured a colleague or customer it would be the company who was wholly liable for this, or if an employee is working with vulnerable persons and acts harmfully and it is determined the company had not requested recent DBS checks, again it would be the company that would face the consequences for this.
- Protecting current employees and staff teams:
Businesses want to ensure a positive experience for all of their staff in the workplace and adhere to their duty to protect the welfare and safety of employees; pre-employment screening uncovers any criminal convictions so that there is greater certainty that a business is introducing a violent or abusive person to the workforce.
Drug screening can also take place to help deter any persons from misusing substances or eliminate them from recruitment so that the issues that come with this are not going to impact on current members of staff.
Accessing verification of previous employment records and confirming references enables better understanding of the type of worker and person a business is recruiting; if there is any history of bullying or altercation within previous work roles this will show up through verification with past employers, as will any low productivity, poor attendance or high sick leave records so that a business can be sure that current employees aren’t going to be faced with picking up the slack for the new recruit.
- Improved customer experience:
Ensuring that a potential new employee is who they say they are and has the background they claim protects customers from harm or from receiving a poor or negligent service.
It is also of benefit to promote the fact that a business uses comprehensive pre-employment screening so that any customer can feel reassured that the individual that attends their home, provides their service or sells them a product is a safe and well-intentioned person who has the knowledge and experience to advise them competently and ensure that they achieve the end result they expected and needed from their involvement with the business.
This enables good customer relationships to be built and a hard earned reputation to be upheld.
- Promoting confidence in investors, associates and business networks:
When it becomes known that a business is stringent in its pre-employment screening this enables confidence in others that are somehow involved with or connected to the business; it sends the message that this is a diligent and considerate company that takes its responsibilities to its employees, customers and others that it works with very seriously.
A company that is thorough and comprehensive in pre-employment screening comes across as likely to be organised, proficient and meticulous in all of its systems, working practices and activities.
This can create assurance for investors, potential associates and other operating within the same industry or connected industries that the company is reliable, ethical and, therefore, likely to continue to succeed and grow and will not place them, their finances or their business at any form of risk.
This can help the business to access opportunities for their own growth and development, and also exceed the reputations and working practices of competitors meaning that they are more likely to be approached or awarded such opportunities. In turn, holding such an esteemed reputation enables a feeling of pride within the employees as well for the company they work for and the ability to then attract a higher calibre of applicants to start the whole pre-employment screening process with again!
If you need help with employment screening at Bond Rees our private investigators can conduct different types of corporate investigation services including background checks on employees. If you would like to see how much this costs please get in touch with us.