Many organisations are starting to use employee vetting prior to making an offer of employment to a potential candidate. This involves investigating an applicant’s background and qualifications prior to being employed by the company. This process helps an organisation to recruit a candidate who is ‘well-suited’ to the job role. Some industries may use this process to check if the applicant has any criminal convictions or any ongoing involvement in illegal activities as it may be a requirement. All companies must follow the set guidelines when dealing with the employee’s confidential information.
All candidates must sign a consent form to grant permission to investigate their background. The vetting process normally takes place after the candidate has gone through the first set of interviews. However, if a background check is made early, it could be costly and a waste of resources, as the candidate may not want to continue any further in the application process. Conducting a background check too late may mean the organisation will have to look for a replacement if there is a problem with the candidate’s background.
The job role will determine the checks that need to be made. For example, if a business is recruiting a taxi driver, they would need to check with the DVLA that they have a valid driver’s licence. This would need to be done as it is relevant to the job role. The company may also want to check if the worker has the right to work in the UK or if they have any points on their licence.
Employers can ask for a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check on applicants who are successful. The organisation can withdraw a job offer if the results on the check show the candidate isn’t suited to the job or barred from working in regulated activity. This is required when people are working regularly with children or vulnerable adults. It is classed as an offence if an employer knowingly allows a barred person from engaging in regulated activity with these groups of people. It is also an offence for the barred person to seek work with the group which they have been barred from working.
Nowadays, the majority of businesses are using social media screening to conduct checks on potential candidates. Having access to this, provides information to the employer of how suited the candidate is for the role they are advertising to hire. Organisations need to make prospective employees that checks will be conducted and this should be made clear to them on the application form.
Social media screening can also be used to check if current employees are disclosing information, which could potentially have a negative impact on the company’s reputation. Another use of social media screening is to see if employees are bullying or harassing their colleagues. Companies will need to make current employees aware that checks will be conducted and this should be presented in their social media policies or contracts.
The reasons organisations provide for using social media screening must be reasonable and screening should only go as far as is proportionate and necessary to achieve their aims.
Employee vetting will be different for each company’s purpose, however, there are certain practices which should be followed when conducting background checks on candidates. All vetting processes must be clear and concise among all applicants. Every employee should go through the same background checks and all consent forms must be easily understood and signed before the employment checks commence. An employer must avoid requests for deeply personal or extra information that isn’t relevant to the job role.
If you have any queries regarding employee vetting, please contact a member of the HPC team on 0844 800 5932 or email: email@example.com.
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