Making an informed decision: Vetting New Employees
Hiring a new employee into your business is a huge undertaking, which should not be taken lightly. A single mistake could cost considerable time, effort, reputation, penalties, and money.
What are the key checks which all employers need to make?
Consider a situation: you have dotted the i’s and crossed the t’s and made your choice. You strongly believe that this is the right candidate for your business- but how can you be 100% confident? Before you proceed with making an offer, is there something you can do to make sure that this is the individual you have been waiting to join your team. One rotten apple spoils the barrel, likewise one bad hire can make you regret for very long.
What are the checks which all employers must undertake before hiring someone?
There are 10 checks which employers must undertake to ensure their own compliance with employment law, immigration law or professional bodies.
- Identity Check – Verify that someone is who they say they are
- Right to work check
- Qualification check or professional body registration check
- Work history
- Reference check
- Criminal record check
- Social network check
- AML PEPs and Sanctions Check
- Adverse Media
- Adverse Credit Check
Employment screening is an important practice in HRM’s toolbox and one that is two-edged. Thus, it can be productively used to help both confirm recruitment decisions as ‘correct’ but also ‘protect’ the business from decisions made on incorrect assumptions of candidates. Nevertheless, the area is full of potential ‘elephant traps’. Therefore, of use is some over-arching guidance on employment screening best practice. Use should be proportionate, done openly, equally, with candidate consent, data should be timely and relevant to the job in hand and remain confidential and most importantly have a legitimate purpose to the hiring. While at first sight there seems to be universal policies and practices, it would be better seen as contingent. To help in this, a simple ‘Four By Four’ framework can assist managers. As with much of HRM, clear, accurate and timely recording and documenting of every part and stage of the process and providing relevant training to all staff involved is necessary to help ensure a fair and transparent system, as well as minimising risks of litigation.
Finally, given the above and the possible pace of change in the area, there is a need for businesses to keep up to date with requirements that vary across sectors and countries and for managers to not only have high emotional intelligence but also cross-cultural competence. In this context, businesses should seriously consider cost-effective investment in outsourcing pre-employment screening to experts and professionals as getting recruitment right will in itself save time and costs and help prevent future problems.
Please note that the Right to work legislation is changing in the UK. After 30th June 2021, the new immigration rules for hiring people from outside the UK will apply. Employers will not need to make retrospective checks for existing employees.