How much thought have you given to “who” is working for you? Do they hold the required qualifications, and are other staff members or clients safe? And if a worker has broken the law, could they cost the business or firm big amounts in terms of reputation and money?
We hear a lot about crimes like identify fraud or fake qualifications and the penalties incurred by the individual – but what about the ramifications for the employer? An estimated 40% of people lie on their CVs and 3 out of 4 employers have caught a lie on a candidate’s CV.
Why is it important to perform background checks?
It’s essential for all firms to “know your people” from as soon as the onboarding process. Onboarding is not just about verification and certificates – you must know the background of someone coming into a business by having confidence in these certifications being correct.
Having people in your firm who have lied about their background, or their qualifications is serious, potentially criminal, and can have huge ramifications for the businesses or firms who employed the individual. While we usually focus on the price paid by the individual at fault, a firm can still suffer significant brand damage, even if they’re found not to have breached any laws and did the right thing by reporting a crime as soon as they became aware of it.
How can you effectively do a background check?
That brand damage can be potentially ongoing and long-lasting and may cost you future business. So how do businesses “know their people” effectively? Here are some tips:
- Find the fake qualifications first: the internet has enabled a multitude of fake (and often “certified”) diplomas, degrees, and academic transcripts. This means employers should no longer take an academic certificate at face value and must validate qualification claims.
- Perform rigorous background and compliance checks for your entire workforce: this protects not only your clients, but your staff and your brand as well. Screening techniques include: CV screening (manual or automated); skills assessments and interviewing.
- Use background checks as a screening tool rather than final validation: Most employers see background checks as “due diligence” or a final validation that final-round candidates have the skills they claim to possess. They should be done at the start of the process.
- Only assess and interview candidates who pass relevant checks:Even with the help of technology, CV screening, skills assessments and interviewing all take time and money. Running checks such as a National Police Check as early in the employment process as possible will ensure that only verified candidates will progress.
- It comes down to maths: Is the cost of assessing and interviewing dozens of ineligible candidates higher than the cost of screening them out beforehand with background checks? If so, it may make sense to conduct background checks earlier in the process.
- Employee situations change – make sure you keep track: Once you’re 100% sure that your employees are checked and cleared, make sure they stay compliant by performing regular checks and ensuring your systems can support automatic verifications.
Another way firms could feel more assured they truly “know their people” was to sign up to an online platform allowing for real-time compliance monitoring of employees – like Cited.
Whether it’s police or working with children checks, certification or qualification, all your workers can be monitored in one place easily. Cited is a game-changer in that it allows a company to see in real-time which of your employees need to take action, and when, to remain up-to-date. It creates a single source of truth and removes any margin for error.
Michael Ivanchenko is the Chief Executive Officer at Know Your People software company, CVCheck. CVCheck is an ASX-listed company that offers screening and verification services to a wide range of industries including mining and resources, oil and gas, recruitment, banking, financial services, health, education and aged care.