Pre-employment Screening and Lies, Damn Lies

By: Jay Khan

It is a well-known fact that people tell lies. Having accepted this fact it is reasonable to assume that applicants for employment positions will tell lies, or at least believe it to be acceptable to "jazz up" their CV's by exaggeration.

A recent survey conducted by an Internet recruitment site found that two thirds of the British workforce believes that it is acceptable to lie to obtain employment. Indeed most UK employers will no longer accept CVs and claimed qualifications at face value. Increasingly job seekers are facing a range of assessment tools such as psychometric profiling and ability tests. More and more employers are utilising the services of pre - employment screening or checking into the backgrounds of their prospective employees.

Some employers now have the lawful right and duty to obtain conviction material about their employee's via the Criminal Records Bureau. With effect from autumn 2008 those who wish to be employed with children and vulnerable adults will have to enter into the newly formed Vetting & Barring Scheme. From point of entry they will be subject to monitoring and employers will be made aware of matters that might affect their continued suitability to work with these groups. Existing employees working within these fields will also have to enter into the scheme ensuring that people working with those at risk are constantly monitored and subject to vetting to ensure continued suitability for the work.

More and more employers are turning to pre-employment screening and background checking to give them the comfort of knowing that the applicant is who they say they are, can lawfully work in the United Kingdom and does not present a risk to themselves, their work colleagues and the company's clients. Pre-employment screening when carried out thoroughly can reveal information that the applicant either deliberately or mistakenly omits to bring to the attention of the prospective employer.
A quality based pre-employment screening process should check the authenticity and integrity of identity documents, claimed qualifications and employment and educational history.

Robust background checking of an applicant's claimed employment history can reveal a lot about the applicant and coupled with other pre-employment screening tools enables employers to select the best candidate for the position.

GSL, via its Employment Screening & Validation Service (ESVS) offers a tried and trusted process of background checking and screening to clients, which is based on over 50 years experience. ESVS has to meet exacting pre- employment screening and vetting standards on applicants for employment within its business streams many of which offer employment opportunities to individuals who will ultimately work on sensitive government contracts.

The GSL service can help organisations control their people risks by providing a comprehensive checking and validation solution to support recruitment and operational decisions. It will provide accurate information and impartial advice about people that companies need to be able to rely on including permanent or temporary employees, job applicants, agency or contract staff, sub contractors, suppliers and potential business partners.

GSL offers a range of service level options according to the sensitivity, authority and responsibility of the position for which candidates are being screened. Alternatively, its consultants will work with clients to create a customised service to meet their individual company needs. At the most basic level is a check that the subject is who he or she claims to be, that they have the education and qualifications that they claim that they have the right to work in the UK and that their previous employment record is consistent with their CV.

GSL is a leader in the UK and on an international scale in the provision of critical primary and support services for corporate organisations and public authorities. As such, the company has extensive experience in designing and implementing clearance procedures for positions in high security or sensitive environments.

The GSL consultants include former senior police officers experienced in combating fraud and identity theft, alongside former special branch and intelligence staff together with human resources and information technology specialists.

GSL ESVS is registered with the Criminal Records Bureau and Disclosure Scotland and authorised to act as an umbrella organisation to carry out criminal records checks and checks against people who have been barred from working with children or vulnerable adults. It is registered under the Data Protection Act and complies with standards set by the security industry and Financial Services Authority and the relevant requirements of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000.

GSL's director of ESVS Paul Leadbeater said, "Effective checking minimises the cost of poor performance by candidates who have exaggerated their qualifications, abilities and experience. It could reduce turnover and associated costs of recruitment and training. It helps avoid industrial tribunals or involvement in situations that could damage the organisation's reputation. It will significantly reduce an organisation's exposure to risk of fraud or dishonesty that cost industry billions of pounds a year. Employers who fail to carry out appropriate pre -employment screening and background checks may be held accountable if an employee placed in a position of trust commits an offence while working.

This includes illegal workers with falsified documentation or candidates who hide a criminal record that is subject to disclosure or the fact of having been banned from working with children or vulnerable adults."

Careers and Job Hunting
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