10 reasons to outsource your pre-employment screening

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Pre-employment screening is an essential part of the recruitment process. Ensuring that candidates are the right fit for the job, are who they say they are and are legally entitled to work are all critical when hiring a new member of staff. Without the correct pre-employment screening, you are putting your business at risk.

Some firms might think that their HR departments are capable of carrying out the necessary checks. But outsourcing your pre-employment screening has several benefits.



1. Save staff resources

Background screening takes a lot of time and effort. Gathering all the necessary data is a complex and time-consuming task, especially when the staff member carrying out the checks has other responsibilities.

2. Objective results

It is impossible to quantify human judgement, and results may be inadvertently affected (either positively or adversely) should the report be made in-house by someone who has already met the candidate. An external company carries out checks entirely based on the data they have on file.

3. Ensuring Compliance

Screening companies have full understanding and knowledge on the legislation surrounding screening and employment. They can ensure that screening is carried out in line with current screening regulations.

4. Speed

A dedicated screening company should be specialists in the checking process, so their procedures will be streamlined and economical as opposed to an HR department who are juggling a lot of different plates. Reports are likely to be returned far more quickly through a screening company.

5. Experience and expertise

Using a screening company gives you access to the experience and expertise of a professional. With use of the latest screening methods and a constant eye on the changing landscape of employment screening, a dedicated screening company can advise you on the best way to screen candidates for your particular industry.

6. Legal Protection

Dealing with personal data requires meticulous precision and there are regular changes in the law regarding handling of personal data and regulations on employment vetting. Using a screening company will reduce the likelihood of legal action, either from a disgruntled candidate or as a result of non-compliance.

7. Specialist automation   

Screening companies have access to all the latest technology in candidate checking, with systems in place which make the process more accurate and efficient. These dedicated automated methods might be too costly for an HR department to implement for occasional hires.

8. Privacy

Knowing that someone in the office they might be working in have had access to their personal data might make some applicants uneasy. Reassuring your candidates that screening has taken place off-site by an external company will make your organisation appear more professional and prevent staff from feeling uncomfortable about people knowing their personal details.

9. Accuracy

Screening large numbers of candidates requires precision, and even the most meticulous HR department can experience human error and face incorrect results. A screening company can guarantee accuracy in its reporting.

10. Peace of mind

All the above ultimately give you peace of mind that all new staff members have been accurately and professionally screened, protecting you from taking on a dishonest candidate which could put your bottom line, and your company, at risk.

Hiring horror stories - Part 2

We continue our most common hiring horror stories.


The social media stretch

One company founder got more than she bargained for when she commissioned a full social media check on a candidate that she believed would be the perfect fit for her finance company. Having checked his social media profiles she discovered that he seemed to already be working within the family. “He had written on his profile that he was currently a director of my brother’s company. I had previously never heard of the guy and asked my brother about him, who was more than a little confused as to who he was. It turned out he had no experience whatsoever and the candidate had just plucked my brothers company off the internet, believing it gave him a good image on his profile. We didn’t hire him, and my brother got in touch over social media and asked him politely to remove his company name.”

The takeaway – social media can be a valuable way of getting to know your candidates more fully. As long as the applicant has agreed to a social media search, it can be a helpful aid in the pre-employment screening process.

The education exaggeration

One candidate for a high-level security position had a very successful interview and the hiring company was excited to have someone so well educated on board. After a couple of weeks into the position however, the manager had made some basic yet expensive mistakes and seemed overwhelmed by many aspects of the job. A thorough check was carried out at the insistence of head office, and it was discovered that far from being a graduate of one of the most prestigious university’s in the UK, he had actually attended a much less well-known college… and hadn’t even graduated.

The takeaway – carrying out extensive screening before allowing a candidate access to sensitive company data is critical, especially in financial or security based employment.

Replicated resumes

One hiring manager received over fifty applications for the same position and split the applications between the rest of the recruitment team to come up with the first shortlist. Having diligently read through all the CV’s they had ten candidates on the shortlist, which they all agreed to review. They very quickly discovered that three of the ten CV’s were exactly the same, with only the names changed.  Needless to say, none of those candidates got the job.

The takeaway – the internet can be a great way for applicants to learn ways to polish their CV writing skills, but sadly it can be misused.

Immigration Dilemma

A private health company found a wonderful doctor from Sri Lanka to add to their team. All his references and qualifications checked out and he quickly became a highly valuable staff member, coming up with some ground-breaking ideas for the treatment of patients. But sadly, after two months work, it was discovered that he had not filled out the correct paperwork and had no right to work here. He was deported, and the company fined £20,000 for hiring an illegal worker.

The takeaway – ensuring that all new members of staff are legally entitled to work in the UK can avoid costly fines. A thorough pre-employment search can prevent problems further down the line.

These are just a few of the situations that companies can find themselves in as a result of poor or non-existent pre-employment screening. Protecting your company begins with hiring the right staff from the outset, and outsourcing your pre-employment screening can help to ensure that all your team members are who they say they are, are fit for the job and legally entitled to work here.

Criminal record check did not spot hammer attack carer threat


The son of a 90-year-old woman who was stabbed in the neck by a carer with a previous assault conviction is calling for a change to criminal record checks. Abosede Adeyinka hit Pamela Batten on the head with a hammer and stabbed her at her home in Hillingdon, west London.


Adeyinka was jailed for 21 years in November for attempted murder.

But Mrs Batten's son Sammy said the carer should never have been given a job because of her previous convictions. Adeyinka, who had built a relationship with the victim after she cared for Mrs Batten's husband, let herself into the house in April before pushing the elderly grandmother to the floor.

The 52-year-old pulled a hammer from her handbag and fractured Mrs Batten's skull, then plunged a knife into her victim's neck, narrowly missing her spinal cord. Mrs Batten has recovered well from most of her injuries, but her son said she is now very nervous and has lost the "happy-go-lucky" side of her personality.

But Mr Batten is "angry" and "astonished" Adeyinka was allowed to look after vulnerable people when her employers knew about her previous convictions for fraud and shoplifting.

It was revealed during the trial Adeyinka also had convictions for actual bodily harm and burglary.

Mr Batten said: "Everyone's got to have a job, but you can't put a fox in charge of the hen house.

"What's the point of vetting someone if you then ignore the results?"

A spokesman for Adeyinka's employer Avant Healthcare said the firm undertook a "robust" interviewing process, including thorough referencing and criminal checks.

Avant said it was not aware of the actual bodily harm conviction.

The spokesman added: "If Avant Healthcare had been aware of an assault conviction, Abosede Adeyinka would not have been employed."

The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) said anyone employing people to work with vulnerable adults or children should request an enhanced DBS check.

It added convictions held by police will be revealed by the enhanced check, but that this is "subject to filtering arrangements".

The Home Office refused to comment.

Article Credit - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-42225664

Exciting changes coming to DBS/DS this December


We are really excited about the latest changes to the DBS/DS (Disclosure and Barring Service/ Disclosure Scotland) processing and the benefits this will enable. Just as a reminder, these changes will mean that the DBS and DS will both be responsible for conducting basic disclosures based on where the candidate will be working. If the basic disclosure is for roles based in England/Wales, then the DBS will process the application, if it is for roles in Scotland, then DS will continue to process the application as they do now.


We are aiming for a GO LIVE date of W/C Monday 14th December for eBulk and 18th December for VOLT/VOLTi3 to implement the changes, from Thursday 14th December the DBS and DS will manage their own applications and be responsible for processing their own data independently.

What does this mean for you as the client?

  • If your candidate’s role is predominantly or solely based in England/Wales, your basic disclosures will be processed by the DBS going forward
  • The difference in how DBS and DS perform their checks means that during the application process the ID documents will have to be verified and seen in person at some point during the recruitment process
  • In addition when you are creating the application for the candidates on our eBulk/VOLT/VOLTi3 systems you will need to insert the individuals name who is responsible for verifying the ID documents; there will be a field that needs to be completed and you can do this 1 of 2 ways:
    • Manually enter into the field the name of the person who verified the ID
    • Tick a box that will populate the field automatically with the name within the “Client Contact” field
  • You will also need to check a box to verify you have read and understood the DBS requirements
  • The certificates with the DBS are now going to be paperless meaning no certificates will be sent to any processor of DBS checks and all content will be sent directly to the applicant who we are running the checks on.
    • The electronic certificate will be issued to the candidate and accessed via a DBS portal,
    • the candidate will be able to grant you access to view their electronic certificate via this portal.
    • Additionally, the candidate will be able to specify within their candidate form whether they also require a paper copy of their certificate, and if they want this to be posted to their home address or to an address of their choosing. Please note, however, that due to the DBS stance on certificates belonging to the candidate, this must be completed by the candidate and cannot be pre-populated or answered on their behalf without their knowledge.

Hiring Horror Stories – Part 1

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Mistakes during the recruitment process can be devastating for candidates as well as companies. Dishonest staff members could put you at risk of becoming a victim of fraud or even legal action as a result of an incompetent employee.

Halloween may be a distant memory, but hiring horror stories happen all year round. In this two-part series, we look at some of the most common hiring horrors caused by failure to correctly screen candidates.

The reference revenant

After a lengthy interview process, one company believed they had found the perfect candidate to head up their new department in Scotland and willingly covered the relocation costs for him and his family. As soon as the candidate took the position however, team members began to complain that he seemed to have absolutely no knowledge of the industry he had professed to be a specialist in. A background check was carried out after the employee had already been paid two months salary, and the references from previous employers, which were highly favourable, were found to be complete fabrications. The employee’s contract was terminated and the cost to the firm was in the region of £100k, as well as leaving them with no one to head up the new department.

The takeaway – always check references, they can be easily faked.

A case of mistaken identity

An enthusiastic new graduate was excited to apply for a position in the finance department of a large energy company. She knew she would be the perfect candidate for the job and was convinced that she would get the position. After a positive first interview, with everyone on the panel happy that she would be an asset to the company, she was surprised and devastated to receive a rejection letter through the post. The background check had revealed that she had a criminal record. She was never told of the reason why she was rejected. A mistake in communication in the HR department had led to her name being spelled incorrectly, and the criminal record check was carried out on a different person. The graduate had no criminal record and the company lost out on their perfect candidate.

The takeaway – outsourcing your pre-employment checks can protect you from mistakes and ensure that all reports are accurate.

The transforming techie

The perfect candidate was found for a start up tech company in Manchester. At the interview he was energetic, well turned out and seemed knowledgeable about the position. Everyone was excited to have him on the team. The first day went well and the staff felt that they had made the right choice. But gradually, the employee seemed to change. He began arriving to work late, wearing inappropriate t-shirts and complaining about how the company was run. His negative attitude began to have an impact on the rest of the staff and productivity within the whole team began to decline. Because the company was a start up they hadn’t felt they had the budget for complete background screening, but they decided to check his credentials after the employee failed to turn up to work for an entire week. Then screening showed that the candidate had lied on their CV about his previous positions and faked references.

The takeaway – the costs of a bad hire extend further than just financial, it can have an impact on the whole workforce. Running a full pre-employment check could have prevented this employee from inflicting his negativity on the company and saved them money in the long run.

Keep an eye out for the next article in the hiring horror stories series.

MP’s Demand Changes to Current Youth Crime Disclosure Legislation

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The Commons Justice Committee have criticised the current rules surrounding the disclosure of youth crime, saying that the system is “wholly inappropriate”.

MP’s have called for a complete overhaul of the present filtering process which regulates which cautions and convictions must be disclosed. The government has a list of 942 offences which cannot be filtered out of DBS checks, which range from serious to relatively minor.

The Committee have even said that the existing system may be in breach of the UK’s obligations under the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child.

People are not required to disclose past convictions which have been “spent” (carried out eleven years ago for adults and five and a half years for young offenders). But some employers request complete disclosure. And, depending on the nature of the employment, for instance of work with children, employers are legally obliged to carry out checks to reduce risk.

The current system has been criticised by many as creating an obstruction for employment, housing, education and insurance, even for offences committed in the distant past, or for very minor offences.

Bob Neill, chair of the Justice Select Committee, stated that the current system creates a barrier to rehabilitation, as well as the access restrictions caused for employment and education. He said that the UK system should be “radically revised” and that we need “something more sophisticated” than the current filtering process which regulates which cautions and convictions must be disclosed.

The Committee suggests that the existing system be replaced with a more customised list which reflects which offences must be disclosed according to the nature of the employment. It also suggested that the current guidelines on when a youth offence should be considered “spent” be reduced.

The government have said that they will publish their response in due course.