There are very few business owners who would doubt the need to carry out effective pre-employment screening tests. Knowing who you are employing has never been more important, with a great deal of emphasis just recently placed on the importance of ensuring that the people you employ have a legal right to be in paid employment in the UK.
But one of the biggest challenges facing businesses, especially small and medium-sized businesses, is judging just how far pre-employment checks need to go. As a business owner you are faced with a CV, from which you will need to identify the validity of the information, and the suitability of a potential employee.
A recent survey revealed that the overwhelming majority of employers who carried out full and effective reference checks and pre-employment checks discovered significant inaccuracies contained within the CV. Whilst it may be true that in some cases these inaccuracies were innocent, such as incorrect employment dates, in many cases the discrepancies raised more questions regarding the background of the candidate.
Of course one fairly obvious question that has to be asked is that if a potential candidate cannot invest sufficient effort into ensuring that their CV is accurate and complete, how much effort will they invest in your business? Inaccurate employment dates may be relatively easy to determine through telephoning previous employers, but this may also reveal potential employment gaps.
These employment gaps are harder to check, and often rely upon the candidates being asked directly why there is a gap between employments. But since the information on the CV was inaccurate it is hardly possible to rely completely upon their verbal explanation.
In such cases many businesses will either trust the candidate, take a gamble, or decline the candidate on the basis of a few slight inaccuracies on the CV. Taking on candidates which may be a gamble could end up costing the business dearly, and declining an otherwise excellent and strong candidate purely because of a couple of minor errors on their CV could also be a bad move.
This then is the challenge facing small and medium businesses – just how far should they take their pre-employment screening? The best solution to this challenge is to forget trying to cope with carrying out reference checks and employment screening in-house, instead relying on specialist employment screening agencies who will be able to determine both the depth of screening and checking necessary for the position in question, as well is using their resources to carry out the checks accurately and quickly.