Recruitment Best Practice - Employment screening

published Wednesday, November 6, 2019, 4:26:00 PM GMT

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Recruiting the right candidate for any role in an organisation is critically important for every business. Finding a candidate that is a good fit and matches the requirements of the role can be challenging. Further, reducing staff turnover and improving retention should also be part of a well thought out recruitment process. Carrying out thorough employment record checks and effectively screening candidates should be a key part of any recruitment process. At the end of the day for many businesses, your employees are your biggest asset.

Recruiting staff is expensive and not carrying out the appropriate employment verification checks on candidates can magnify those costs significantly. Recruiting someone who is a poor fit for a role or doesn't have the necessary experience can damage a businesses reputation and lower morale with other staff. Taking all these factors into consideration, the cost of properly screening a potential new employee at the appropriate time shouldn't be an expense but an investment in your businesses future. That being said, employment screening costs are only a small fraction of the overall costs of recruitment. So the question should be, why wouldn't you properly screen a candidate?

What is Employment Screening?

Employment screening basically involves checking the employment records provided to you by a candidate on an application form or on their CV. It's not a full background check (or criminal record check) as such but is primarily aimed at helping employers effectively screen candidates and ensure their suitability for a role. Simply put, it's the process of checking a potential new employees current or previous employment records. Our employment verification process involves the recruiting company asking the candidate to complete an online form requesting the following information;
  • Candidates name
  • Previous employment details, to include
  • Position
  • How long in position (start and end date of employment)
  • Reference(s) (must be in a senior position and/or authorised to provide a reference)
  • Salary
  • Contract type (full, part time, etc)
  • Reason for leaving
  • Attendance record
Once this information is collected our team will take this information and look to verify it using a suite of bespoke tools and technologies.

Do Candidates Lie on Their CVs?

In short, yes, it happens.

The CV Library published an article in Apr 2018 entitled - "These are the 5 areas Brits are willing to lie about on their CV"

Here's a snippet of their findings;

"The survey of 1,000 UK workers explored whether professionals would ever consider lying on their CV, or to a potential employer, in order to secure a job. The findings suggest that many are willing to take the risk!

In fact, a third (31.4%) would be willing to lie about the dates of their previous employment and 27.1% about by gaps in their CV. This was followed by lying about salary (to help secure a higher one).

And it doesn’t stop there. Over one in 10 (12.9%) would lie about their work experience and 11.4% would fib about their previous responsibilities."

Gaps in Employment History

This is the most common finding when carrying out a pre employment check on a candidate. These may or may not be an issue and gaps are initially referred back to the candidate. Any misunderstandings or errors can be addressed at this point. Following this, the recruiting company can decide on how they wish to deal with the information that is returned following the completion of the pre employment checks.

How to Deal with Issues in Background Checks

The absolute best way to deal with issues is to accept that candidates can sometimes be tempted to lie on their CVs. To pre-empt this we strongly advise having a clear recruitment process that you can share with any potential new employee prior to them making their formal application. If you make it very clear that you carry out background employment screening as part of your recruitment process then this will most likely prevent any awkward moments further down the line. You should clearly communicate that you intend to work with a partner who will carry out the background screening on your behalf and explain how that fits in with your overall recruitment process.

Who Can be a Referee for a Candidate?

It's recommended that organisations request at least one reference from a current or most recent employer. Ideally, companies will request two referees to be provided on application forms. If the candidate cannot provide two references then it's good practice to accept an educational reference or a character reference instead - this avoids the risk of putting a candidate at a disadvantage if they cannot provide two employment references. As with every other step of the pre employment screening process we recommend communicating what information is expected from your candidates at the outset of the process.

When to Obtain References from Potential New Employees

It's usually considered best practice to obtain references after an offer has been made to the candidate. This offer can then be made 'subject to satisfactory references'. This allows the recruiting organisation to withdraw the offer of employment if the references are not considered satisfactory. Again, we thoroughly recommend clearly communicating your recruitment process to your candidates at the outset of the process so that everyone is clear of all the steps. RECREF carry out pre-employment screening as well as post-employment screening and can work seamlessly with your own processes and specific requirements.

How RECREF Can Help

Taking on a new employee is a fundamental part of running a business and carrying out proper background checks on your candidates as part of your recruitment process doesn't have to be a headache. RECREF have years of experience in the referencing sector and our processes work seamlessly and efficiently with yours. Our online tools and systems allow us to capture your candidate’s information quickly and easily and carry out the background screening checks. Our team will process all applications quickly and efficiently and report their findings to you as soon as they are available - all via our online portal. No chasing people up for references, high-quality results and we do all the hard work!

For more information on our services check out the relevant sections on our website, call our friendly team on 02392 315203 or fill in our contact form.