18/02/2014

By Steve Girdler, Managing Director EMEA at HireRight, the candidate due diligence company

It is a truth universally acknowledged that all businesses — big and small — want to recruit and retain the best talent. Increasingly, this means hiring people with skills and experience gained outside the UK.

Cross-border background screening can be more complex than carrying out local candidate due diligence. However, with six in ten people including incorrect information on their job applications it’s essential that companies ensure that they are checking the claims of potential employees. Failure to do so can be costly.

More than half of employers have experienced a bad hire, which can lead to a fall in both productivity and profitability, as more is spent on recruitment than planned, risking demotivated staff feeling let down by a team member who is not able to carry out their role. In more troubling cases, hiring the wrong person may result in fraud, theft, violence or reputational damage from unwanted media attention.

However, checking the claims of job candidates — especially those from abroad — can be a complex process and many businesses lack the resources to learn about the legal issues of researching people’s qualifications, experience and history. How many people, for instance, are aware that in France and Germany there are more limitations on how far companies can look into an individual’s criminal background and financial information than in the UK?

With this in mind, the following are five top tips for companies to help them overcome the complexities of screening people who have lived or worked beyond the UK’s borders.

1 – Businesses need to implement a background screening process that is auditable, measurable and transparent. This will be invaluable if a candidate threatens a lawsuit based on the way that the screening has been conducted.

2 – In order to avoid this happening, the screening requirements and processes should be communicated clearly to the candidate at the outset of the recruitment process and throughout. Their consent should always be gained.

3 – The same level of checks must be carried out on all applicants applying for a role to ensure that the recruitment process is fair.

4 – All members of staff involved in recruitment must understand and be bought-in to the correct process to ensure consistency.

5 – Finally, the agreed background screening process should be reassessed regularly to make sure that it remains up-to-date.

With more and more people travelling to the UK for work purposesĀ³ and the increasing importance of employing a diverse workforce with international experience and skills, businesses must take action now to ensure that their background screening process is robust.

Companies that do not do this will find that they are recruiting from a smaller pool of talent or leaving themselves open to recruiting people who harm their business.

HireRight’s latest Candidate Health Check, November 2013 shows that 63 per cent of applicants provide incorrect information to potential employers, in areas including criminal records, previous employment, educational attainment and membership of professional organisations.

About Steve Girdler

Steve Girdler is managing director EMEA at HireRight, the candidate due diligence company.

About HireRight

HireRight is a leading global provider of candidate due diligence services, providing background screening of employees and job applicants in order to help over 1,800 EMEA organisations mitigate employee risk, make informed hiring decisions and meet compliance obligations.

The company works in more than 200 countries and has offices across the globe, including the UK, USA, and Hong Kong. More than one-third of the Fortune 500 uses the organisation’s services.

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