What is pre-employment screening and which key checks employers must make?
Pre-employment screening often called as ''employee vetting'' is the process of verifying the credentials of a job applicant. It also ensures that they meet preconditions of employment. When conducting pre-employment checks, it should be established whether the applicant has concealed information or otherwise masked themselves. Pre-employment screening may also be considered as a test of one's character.
Every organisation has different systems and procedures in place for conducting pre-employment screening. However, the aim of pre-employment screening is to obtain information about prospective or existing staff, and to make sure that information is properly analysed to identify people who may present security concerns.
When teams are working remotely - organisations are more vulnerable to fraud and different roles present different types/levels of risks, business should always consider how these risks can be mitigated and what level of pre employment screening their prospective/current employee needs.
What are the key pre-employment checks employers can make?
Employers should prefer to tailor the pre-employment screening process according to the risks that a particular job profile presents. Following are some of the most common pre-employment checks employers make on their prospective or current employees (when promoted or changing job within the organisation).
- Identity Verification
- Right to work check
- Self-declaration criminal record form
- Basic DBS, Standard DBS or Enhanced DBS (depending on the level of the risk)
- Academic qualifications and Professional qualifications check
- Employment references (three, five to ten years depending on the level of the risk) including confirmation with employers - dates of employment, posts held and reasons for leaving
- Media checks including any adverse media
- Adverse Credit Check (Financial check)
- AML PEPs & Sanction check
What is British standard 7858 (BS7858)?
BS7858 sets out recommendations for the pre-employment screening of people to be employed in an environment where the security or safety of other people, services, personal data or property is a requirement of the employing organisation’s operations or where such vetting is in the public or organisation's interest. The Standard is used widely in the private sector organisations in their pre-employment screening processes, and by third party screening companies undertaking preemployment screening checks on behalf of private/public sector organisations.
BS7858:2012 comprises of following:
- Proof of identity and address
- Education and employment check
- Criminal records check
- Financial screening check
- Character reference check
According to BS7858 guidelines the minimum screening period should be five years, and there should be no unverified gaps greater than 31 days. BS7858 also states that full screening should be completed no later than 12 weeks after employment has commenced (for checks totalling five years), or 16 weeks (where the checks are for longer than 5 years).
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