• Marc Pomroy

7 top tips to staying compliant

Pre-employment screening is one of the most comprehensive and effective ways of ascertaining the suitability of job applicants and safeguarding against future HR problems.

Getting the screening process right is a headache as businesses face uncertainty over which checks are required and the best price for those checks. There's also a misconception that pre-employment screening is simply a waste of time.

Candidates don’t always understand how screening works, and delays in the screening process can have a real impact on start dates and your business’s productivity.

Here's seven top tips to save you time, money, stay compliant and give your candidates a better experience:

1. Let the candidate know about screening as soon as you can

Candidates who understand the screening process complete their data entry quicker. Shock! Let your candidate know that screening is a part of your onboarding process at the offer or even interview stage and tell them to expect an email from Compliance by Essex County Council.

2. Make sure your candidate is prepared with all the correct information

Giving your candidate an idea of the kinds of information they’ll need to provide in the screening process ahead of time means they’ll be more prepared to provide it as soon as they receive their welcome email. It also really reduces the risk of Inaccurate or incomplete data entered being entered by candidates. Our Compliance system automatically verifies data but avoiding having to reach out to get extra information can get a check complete up to three times faster!

3. Right to work in the UK

Employers have a legal obligation to carry out checks to ensure an applicant has the right to work in the UK, but they also need to keep a record of the check. Finding previous checks can be a time-consuming task, so make sure the system you use to conduct the checks is the same system you log your checks and can search for them. Our new online checking service enables employers to use passports, birth certificates, biometric residence permits or residence cards, for example to check the current right to work, in real time, of a person.

4. Medical checks.

This is a check employers often tiptoe around, unsure if, when, and to what extent, they can ask applicants about their medical history. The rules here vary, depending on the stage in the recruitment process. Employers should not generally ask any questions regarding health or disability during the recruitment stage – including questions about the number of sick days taken at the applicant’s previous place of work. This is to avoid any potential discrimination against people with disabilities or health complications.

Once a job offer is made, employers can then ask about medical conditions that might affect the employee’s ability to do their job; or questions to determine if they need to make any reasonable adjustments – such as an adapted work environment or flexibility.

5. References

Employers will frequently make an offer of employment subject to satisfactory references. Chasing references can be extremely time consuming with various emails and calls. Once the reference has been received, logging that reference so it can be found if needed also takes time. Speeding up this process requires using the same system for all references and for storing them for future search.

6. Background/criminal checks

Employers should only carry out criminal record checks to the extent this can be justified in relation to the job that the employer is recruiting for. Some professions have specific requirements for a Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) check to be completed, for example those that involve children or vulnerable people. Businesses should also check any processing of personal data relating to criminal convictions is done in compliance with the GDPR, and that the requisite additional safeguards are in place.

7. Investigating social media accounts

Employers should take care when inspecting social media profiles, and it is advisable to only do so when there is a legitimate reason relevant to the job or position, such as where the employee will be a spokesperson or have significant public exposure.

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