4 Reasons To Run Background Checks On Employees
Screening employees is becoming more and more common. It used to be the preserve of high responsibility jobs, especially for roles that require working directly with children or vulnerable adults. These days a variety of employers are requesting them for roles such as drivers, shop assistants, financial advisors, etc.
If you’re an employer and you are thinking of applying for background checks such as requesting a DBS certificate, then this article will explain why it’s a good idea and how to apply.
What do we mean by “background check”?
A background check means literally what it says – checking someone’s background. It usually refers to the process of vetting somebody by checking references, qualifications, and running a criminal record check.
A DBS check is a criminal background check that examines an individual’s criminal record and returns details of offences. The offences that are highlighted depend on the level of DBS check performed.
- Basic DBS Check reveals unspent convictions only
- Standard DBS Check reveals spent and unspent convictions, cautions, warnings, and reprimands
- Enhanced DBS Check reveals the same as a standard check, as well as any relevant police notes held on file. It can also include a barred list check that reveals whether the person’s name is held on the DBS list of people barred from working with vulnerable adults or children.
Now you know what a DBS check is, let’s look at 4 reasons why insisting that potential employees have them done is beneficial.
1. Protecting People
Most jobs require contact with other people in one form or another. Even if employees are not in direct contact with members of the public, they will still work with colleagues or workers from other companies.
Everybody has the right to work in a safe environment, free from threats, abuse or violence. Carrying out a DBS check will help you to reduce the chance of hiring somebody who is prone to abusive or violent behaviour. At the very least it will help you to spot red flags that you may miss on an application form or interview.
For instance, a DBS check may reveal a history of extremism, with offences such as racist threats or violence, which could result in a disaster for other employees if you hired the person.
Obviously, a DBS check isn’t foolproof. People may still have violent or discriminatory tendencies without having committed a crime. If you are unlucky enough to hire such a person, then you need to deal with the individual through some kind of HR or disciplinary process. But running a DBS check may help you from ending up in this situation in the first place.
2. Get An Honest Picture
It’s no big secret that some people lie on their application forms. Whether it’s exaggerating their exam results or lying about dates to hide a gap in their CV, it’s a good idea to try and weed out people who lie as early as possible. At the end of the day, honest employees are much more preferable.
The thing is, research suggests that more than 50% of people lie on their CV. This can cause big problems, especially if the person is lying about their criminal history to hide an offence. Running a DBS check gives you a more accurate view of someone’s criminal record than just asking them to disclose any offences on an application form. The results of a DBS check don’t lie.
3. Protect Your Business or Organisation
In the business world, reputation is everything. It can take years to build a good reputation, but it can be destroyed in minutes if you hire a bad apple. Don’t let all your hard work get undone by a recruiting mistake.
A DBS check will help to weed out any potential wrongdoers. For example, let’s say you are hiring for an IT staff member who will be handling sensitive customer data. If their DBS check comes back with a conviction for hacking, you would think twice about hiring them and could potentially save yourself the embarrassment and reputation damage of a costly data leak.
4. Meet Regulatory Requirements
A DBS check may reveal offences that would put you on the wrong side of regulations or legislation. This is especially true for safeguarding roles that involve working with children or vulnerable adults.
It could also apply to hiring people that are not legally allowed to work in the country, as the DBS check may reveal the details. The fine for hiring someone who isn’t legally allowed to work in the UK is up to £20,000 if you’re unaware, or up to a 5 year prison sentence, so it’s really not worth the risk.
Background checks help to reduce risk
Employing people without a background or criminal record check is a risky business. Why take such a big risk with your business or organisation when it’s pretty simple to get DBS certificates carried out?
You can even apply for DBS checks online these days, rather than by post. This speeds up the process and makes it less likely that mistakes will be made. In fact, an online DBS check may be returned within as little as two weeks.
To find out more about DBS checks and how employers can set up an online account to handle them, contact us today.