Think You Know Your Candidates? Think Again!

victoria worrell

23rd September 2016


You’ve been searching for the perfect candidate and finally found the one that has the skillset, experience and the right character for your company. Does it matter that you overlooked a background check, because your gut instinct says that there will be nothing to find? The answer is more than ever, yes.

Background checks are necessary as the legal penalties are increasing in severity for companies that fail to do so. The heightened spotlight on businesses following procedure could be due to The Risk Advisory Group’s reporting of ‘blatant candidate lies’ on CVs rising to 70% in the last year. This begs the question; how well do you know your ‘perfect’ candidate?

We take a look at the top 3 background checks that your company need to carry out so that the candidate you think is perfect doesn’t cost your businesses finances, reputation and staff.

Can your candidate work in the UK?

This may seem a ridiculous question to pose however, according to the 2016 Background Screening Trends & Best Practices Report only a staggering 38% UK companies checked whether candidates had an eligibility to work within the UK.

If a company is found to have not screened for a candidate’s right to work in the UK, they could be fined up to £20,000. Carrying out the correct processes will lead you to hire a candidate that can work for you and won’t penalise your company. Assuming that they are eligible is not a plan.

Are you risking your team’s happiness and brand reputation?

It is an alarmingly low statistic but just 7% of companies obtain a candidate’s public safety records. The omission of this check can leave your employees and customers at risk of harm and your company brand and reputation in jeopardy. It may not happen often, but when it does the impact catches the news.

Don’t risk your business because you believe you have found the right candidate without knowing about about their background and true character. Remember that the checks are in place to safeguard your company.

Do you need to screen all of your candidates, no matter the role?

Only 40% of UK companies reportedly carry out background checks on new hires and these are typically for Executives, Directors and Manager roles. A mere half of junior candidates and contract workers are screened. Regardless of where a role is situated within the company hierarchy, is it necessary to know a candidate’s background to ensure they’re able to work alongside your staff or indeed interact with your customers?

Simple guides to help you screen candidates effectively.

Online check

You can find out about your candidate through a simple digital search on Google. Have they made the news? Is there anything on their social media accounts that reveals their behaviour and character? Reading up on their Linkedin profile is also a good way to cross reference their employment history, skills and experience against their CV.

Online assessments

Online recruitment assessments such as psychometric tests will help you determine how a candidate’s mind works. This will not only help you to determine whether they fit the company but it could also raise any potential warning signs about a person’s character.

Employee references

Asking your candidate for two references and one that has to be from a previous employer will help you to find out their character. Ask this question ideally face to face in order to gauge their reaction and see how comfortable they feel about offering references.

Security companies

This type of business has grown over the years and can turn your requests around very quickly. You can create a bespoke search request for your specific needs so that you find out exactly what you want to know.

CV screening

To find out how honest a candidate’s CV is, ask them to talk through it and ask them to tell you their previous roles and responsibilities. Asking them to recall a past work related experience will also highlight how truthful they have been as you will be able to read their body language and see how they react under pressure. Question any gaps in employment, check the dates between roles and ask why they left their previous workplaces. Vague responses or an omission of dates will flag that the CV is not a true reflection of the candidate.

Want to be certain that you’re employing the right candidate? Speak to one of our consultants on 020 7426 9835 who will be able to help safeguard your business and find that amazing candidate for your hiring needs.

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