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Better pre-employment checks needed

Firms at risk for failing to screen job applicants

Mike StirtonCompanies are failing to make adequate checks on recruits before hiring them, according to research by a Scottish headhunter.

It found that only half of pre-employment background checks pass without any issues, with one in ten applicants rejected outright.

Based on 300 checks carried out last year, Core-Asset Verify found that:

  • 10% of applicants failed outright with major issues
  • 34% passed, but with some minor issues
  • Only 56% of applicants passed with no concerns

 The top five reasons for outright vetting failures were:

  • Outstanding County Court Judgement or Company Voluntary Arrangement
  • Unspent criminal record for serious crime
  • False qualifications listed on CV
  • Hierarchical difference in job titles on CV
  • Dismissal or disciplinary measures in previous employment

 The top five reasons for vetting passes, but with minor issues, were:

  • Adverse financial information, now addressed
  • Reference could not be obtained
  • Reference returned with doubts other than formal dismissal or disciplinary measures
  • Applicant unable to locate qualification certification and awarding body no longer holding record
  • Dates of employment inconsistent with CV but within reasonable margin of error.

Mike Stirton, Director of Core-Asset Verify, said: “Many companies still view pre-employment background checks as a tick-boxing exercise to be completed at the end of the recruitment process. But our research shows that serious issues arising from checks are common.

Employers who have inadequate checks in place – or worse still, no checks at all – risk hiring people who don’t have the requisite skills, qualifications or experience for the role. Most worryingly, they may be employing someone who has a history of fraudulent activity.

In turn, the message for applicants could not be clearer: don’t lie or provide misleading information on your CV. It is much better to disclose any issues upfront than hope the truth doesn’t come out. Employers will view this much more favourably and you will have a better chance of being successful.

“Also, if you list a qualification or certificate ensure you are in possession of the documentation. In vetting a ‘lost’ certificate is the equivalent of no certificate at all.

“Companies and applicants can no longer view pre-employment background checks as merely the rubber stamping of a candidate before a contract is issued. It is now an integral and vital part of the recruitment process.”

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