The importance of full background checks when employing a key candidate

The importance of full background checks when employing a key candidate

The importance of full background checks when employing a key candidateHave you ever been for a job where their recruitment checking was as simple as a quick look at your references? If you have, the chances are that it was a result of one of two things. Either the job role was something fairly innocuous where checks were not needed, or the employer was either unaware of what checks could be carried out or was unaware of the importance of them.

A comprehensive background check is vital

In the technology industries, a comprehensive background check is usually vital. IT is one of the fastest moving and most competitive industries in the world. In many cases, IT and market intelligence can be the lifeblood of a business. It simply makes sense to ensure that the people you hire are who they say they are and that they are trustworthy and honest in their dealings with you. Unfortunately, a handshake and a signature on a contract are unlikely to be appropriate.

There are some legal restrictions on what we can and can’t do as a background check though, and rightly so. This is not about snooping or invading privacy, this is about the security and well-being of your business. So clearly, legal requirements such as the data protection act are strictly adhered to and any checks made need to be in the public domain or appropriate for the role, again within the restrictions of legislation. Additionally checking candidates is a process that must not accidentally allow any form of discrimination.

Most candidates are honest, and there is, of course, a big difference between portraying yourself in the best light and outright telling a lie on an application. The vast majority are at worst a little prone to exaggeration. However, the background check is not there for the majority. It is intended to locate and expose the very small amount of candidates who are simply not telling the truth. Identity and immigration status are compulsory so establishing the person is who they say they are is a matter of course. However, this does not reveal anything more than identity.

Small differences

A full work history check can sometimes turn up small differences in the detail of job roles, responsibilities or timelines, and again, when these are minor they can usually be explained away. If these checks show a markedly different story than the CV then clearly there is a problem to be addressed.

Many of the other checks we can carry out to ensure clarity are dependant on the job role of the candidate. Social media, for example, is public or not depending on the candidate’s choice, and it is not a very specific filter. If the role requires specific financial responsibility, then the candidate may be asked to be subject to a credit check. Similarly, while you cannot enforce a criminal records check in many cases, there are certain jobs where this is required.

It’s not one size fits all

Background checking is not a one size fits all process, and it is reliant on knowing the candidates, the client, the specific job role and the wider concerns of the company. The best option is to speak to us about the concerns you may already have in the initial stages of recruitment and let us offer some advice on the appropriate level of background checking we feel we should perform to ensure you get the right candidate.

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