Pre-employment screening can be used to run certain checks on job applicants to ensure they are suitable for the position. There is a rising trend in the UK for applicants to embellish their CV or misrepresent themselves on their application forms and so it is important that companies run checks prior to making an appointment. It is essential that an employer checks that the applicant is allowed to work in the UK before appointing them. An employer can be fined up to £10,000 if they are unable to show evidence that they checked an employee was eligible to work in the UK. For certain jobs such as working with children or vulnerable young adults, employers need to carry out a criminal record check before appointing new employees. (See CRB Checks and DBS Checks). Examples of checks that can be run before appointing an employee could include:
- Employment References
- Character Reference Check
- Gaps in employment history
- Identity and Address Verification. This could include verification of the candidate’s present and previous addresses. It could also include money laundering, identity and terrorist checks and one to verify the validity of passports.
- Whether an applicant holds a directorship
- Credit History (credit score is not included) – bankruptcies
- Criminal Record Checks. Unless there is a specific need to check someone’s criminal record for a job, employers may not refuse to employ someone because of spent convictions.
- Health Checks (only for a job where it’s a legal requirement or the job requires it)
- It is essential to ensure that when running such checks, the employer is not seen to be discriminating against the potential recruit or that the checks will discourage people from applying for the job.