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The five types of background checks that an employer might make

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With hiring managers often facing large volumes of applications or CVs to wade through on top of their day job, it’s perhaps not surprising that these embellishments are not always detected. Research by recruitment specialists Alexander Mann Solutions in 2019 found that 53% of recruiters do not detect fraudulent CVs until the interview stage, and 49% during the background checking phase. Common falsifications included altering employment timelines, inflating job titles and listing fake qualifications.


In certain roles, such as working with children or vulnerable people, where a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check is required, an applicant providing a fake document could create a dangerous safeguarding issue. Having a system in place to keep an audit trail of checks and balances made during the hiring process is therefore crucial. This could be as simple as an Excel spreadsheet or something more sophisticated such as bespoke screening software or services, like TrustID’s, that integrate with your organisation’s applicant tracking and HR systems. Automating aspects of the screening process can also reduce the potential for human error. The checks and balances offered by integrating screening capability into your HR system mean that actions aren’t assumed and time-short recruitment teams don’t overlook essential parts of the verification process. Machin adds: “To the untrained eye or someone who has just been asked to look at a photocopy of a document, there may be vulnerabilities. Some organisations and sectors, such as construction, end up with high fake rates, or employers are targeted if it’s known they don’t perform proper checks.” Automating checks does not mean that fakes go unchecked – if there are questions over the veracity of documents or specific regulatory requirements, they can be escalated to a manual check.


The five types of background checks that an employer might make:


1. Criminal record checks: these must be proportionate and relevant to the role in question, according to Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. Employers can use the DBS to find details of any convictions – and these are a prerequisite for many roles in sectors where candidates will be working with children or vulnerable people. The UK government recently announced it would make changes to how it defines spent convictions so that certain convictions will no longer automatically appear on DBS checks


2. Educational credentials: an organisation may want to check an applicant’s university degree, technical qualifications, or school qualifications to ensure they meet skills requirements


3. Right-to-work checks: all employers have a legal obligation to carry out checks to ensure that an applicant has a right-to-work in the UK, and failure to do so could result in a fine, while repeated breaches could lead to imprisonment. For British nationals this proof of right-to-work in the UK tends to be a copy of their passport, which can be checked inperson or digitally via accredited identify verification technology


4. Credit checks: financial services organisations in particular carry out credit checks on candidates to ensure that they do not have a history of financial mismanagement, and that they do not pose an increased risk when it comes to handling money or sensitive data


5. References: reference checks are a common way for employers to check that the employment history of an applicant rings true. Some companies have


This Blog was provided to us by one of our partners, Ciphr, and written by Jo Faragher.

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