5 biggest screening questions from HR professionals

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Pre-employment screening can be a daunting process, whether you are a new employer looking to hire a new round of employees or a large company wading through thousands of applications.

But pre-employment screening is a necessary part of the recruitment procedure, to ensure that candidates are who they say they are and have the necessary skills and experience to carry out the role in a professional manner.

We have rounded up the most asked questions about background screening.

What checks are essential?

Right to Work Checks - Employers can face strong penalties and significant fines for employing people who do not have a legal right to work in the UK.

Criminal records checks – Employers looking to hire candidates to work in roles involving regulated activities with children or vulnerable adults, as well as some roles within the financial sector are subject to criminal background checking.

Other pre-employment checks including education and past work experience, credit and financial checks, social media checks and drug and alcohol testing might be relevant depending on the nature of the role and the sector/industry involved.

How long does a typical background check take?

Background screening can vary depending on the nature of the checks. Some simple checks can be carried out within 24 hours, UK criminal records checks can take up to six weeks, while the average employment screening check will take around 10 days.

Why do some checks take longer?

Depending on the depth of the check and the type of check involved, different turnaround times can be expected. Whether the candidate has spent a significant amount of time overseas, the type and level of responsibility of the role and whether past employers are still operational can all influence turnaround time.

Can I look up candidates’ backgrounds online?

No. Searching online while not necessarily unlawful, might put you in breach of privacy and discrimination laws which will not only invalidate any information found but also put your company at risk of criminal proceedings. In addition, information found online cannot be guaranteed to be valid.

Do I have to tell candidates that they are being screened?

Yes! Being open and honest about the screening process will help build a better relationship between candidate and employer, as well as show candidates that your company has a professional and honest approach to the recruiting process.

Using a dedicated screening provider will help your business make the right hiring decision and provides a quick and efficient route to pre-screening candidates.