13th December 2017

The Importance of Pre-Recruitment Checks

10 May 2013 | by Asset Resourcing

As employers in the process of recruiting new staff, you have a legal obligation to ensure that each new employee has a right to work in the UK but more than that, you have a moral and ethical obligation to ensure that you have the best interests of your business at the forefront of your considerations.

Here at Asset Resourcing, in addition to sourcing outstanding candidates for outstanding roles in IT & New Media, Accountancy & Finance, Admin & Clerical and Sales & Marketing, we also believe in offering what is known as a 360° service, i.e. making sure that you are armed with the most relevant information that will seamlessly integrate your new employee into your business.

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) estimate that the cost of recruiting a new employee is over £6,000 (including costs surrounding labour turnover.) Coupled with the fact that rising unemployment means that there are far more responses to job listings, more and more people are ‘embellishing’ facts in order to secure interviews.

The CIPD are also suggesting that because so few employers undertake pre-recruitment checks – despite on-going press coverage highlighting the importance of doing so – the ‘embellishers’ are slipping through the net and securing jobs they are neither qualified or able to do.

The point is that while it’s important to ‘get the right person’, it’s equally as important to know that they won’t spring any unwanted surprises that can, potentially, damage the reputation of your business by either action or inaction.

There are a number of elements to take into consideration –

In-House Application Forms There will often be information required on your own application forms that won’t be evident simply from reading a CV, such as eligibility to work in the UK, criminal convictions covered under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act and equal opportunities information covered under the Equality Act.

If you don’t have an application form, consider incorporating it into your recruitment process.

Rights to Work in the UK It’s your responsibility to check the documentation of each applicant to ensure he or she is eligible to work in the UK and there are stiff penalties for failing to check documentation and for employing an illegal worker. There are published lists of ‘approved’ documents and we can help you source them to make sure your applicants are who they say they are.

Checking References Following up on references is one of the best ways to check the validity of salary claims, job titles and duties and more and more employees are offering positions to candidates AFTER satisfactory references and not before, as was traditional.

Driving Licences If the role requires the employee to drive their own, or a company car, a thorough look at their Driving Licence and any convictions or points accumulations can and should be taken into consideration. It is of course an offence to drive without a valid licence but it is also an offence to allow someone to drive without a valid licence so it becomes your responsibility to ensure the employee can drive legally.

Qualifications Should the role you are recruiting for require the employee to be a member of a professional body or to have particular or specific academic qualifications, make sure you see original copies of certificates or memberships.

Health Checks Providing every employee is treated consistently (and not just those of a ‘certain age’), you are within your rights to require employees to have a pre-employment medical so you can be sure that you’re aware of any medical conditions that are present. This enables you to make any necessary alterations to working conditions.

If a pre-existing condition presents an unacceptable risk to your business (such as an employing someone with back issues for a manual labour job) you may be in a position to withdraw the offer of employment following any such examination.

Working with Children & Vulnerable Adults The Vetting & Barring Scheme provides a vetting process under the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act which bars people who pose a potential risk to either children or vulnerable adults from working with them. Those working with such groups are required to register with and be subject to checks by the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA).

As well as these checks, you need to ascertain whether there are roles within your business that require Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) checks and make it a condition of your offer of employment that if applicable and necessary, a CRB check is undertaken.

By either luck or good judgement, Asset Resourcing has never had a candidate who has had an offer withdrawn or committed a criminal offence in relation to working for a specific company but we know it happens and there are regular tales – apocryphal or otherwise – where businesses have had to repeat the recruitment process two or even three times (at their own cost) because the candidate wasn’t who they said they were.

As always, we are on hand for additional information and clarification on any of the points you’ve read here and while we do all we can to ensure we provide you with the best candidates, you have a duty and a responsibility – legally and ethically – to make sure you do get the right person.

Have a great month, enjoy the (occasional) sunshine and we’ll see you in June.

Oh, one more thing, have you sorted your summer holiday temp cover yet? If not, get ahead of the curve and talk to us today!

Ben Sweeting & Michelle Scott, Directors, Asset Resourcing


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