October 2nd, 2017 | Sterling

Why Background Screening Matters in Today’s Changing Workforce

New employees are one of the biggest investments a business can make. With each new hire, companies invest time, training, money and resources in the hope that their new employee will add to the success of the company. Background screening helps businesses make better, more consistent and more informed hiring decisions. From employment verifications to criminal record checks, it’s a proactive way to add another layer of risk mitigation into the hiring process.

It’s a basic fact; background screening is complicated. Deciding which type of background screening check an employer needs to run to find the best candidate can often seem like a daunting task. At a very simple level, background screening helps to ensure that the right people are in the right role.

Why Background Screening Matters

Background screening matters because it protects an organisation’s property, assets, reputation, brand and ultimately its biggest asset, the people. Sterling’ 2016 Background Screening Trends and Best Practices Report found that 40% of our survey respondents still do not conduct background screening. Of those who do not screen, at least 25% expect to start a programme in the next year. This reflects a growing awareness of the importance of screening.  For those that do screen, the number one reason for conducting background screening checks is improving or meeting regulatory compliance (67%) followed by improving the quality of hires (59%), company reputation (53%) and enhanced workplace safety and security (50%).

The Trends and Best Practices Report found that companies that perform background checks are more likely to be publicly held (17%) and employ 1,000 or more staff. Furthermore, the report found that small companies with fewer than 100 employees are less likely to screen (44%).  Regardless of the company size, hiring guru, Bradford Smart estimates the cost of a “mis-hire” to be between four and fifteen times the annual salary and benefits package of the employee in question.  And, the higher the position, the more it costs to replace him or her.

Rapidly Evolving Workforce in the UK

Background screening helps firms hire with a rapidly evolving workforce. The workforce is changing in the United Kingdom. Below are just a few factors affecting the hiring process in the UK:

  • The Contingent Workforce is Growing: The UK economy has changed dramatically over the last 50 years from relatively stable employment in the public or private sector to an increased reliance on temporary or contracted labour. While the manufacturing world has shrunk, the on-demand or contingent workforce (or gig economy) has grown. According to the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed (IPSE), there are now 1.91 million freelance workers in the UK, which is a 36% increase since 2008.
  • There is a Higher Volume of Transient Millennial Workers: Millennial job seekers prefer to choose when and where they work rather than being placed in a “regular” job, often placing workplace flexibility over how much they get paid. UK Millennials do not stay at jobs for a long time, with the average tenure being two According to The 2016 Deloitte Millennial Survey, approximately “71 percent [of millennials] indicate an expectation of moving on [from their current job] within five years.” This means that employers need to emphasize on retaining employees, while simultaneously planning for expected attrition.
  • Candidates Expect a Great Experience: Every single touch point that occurs between a job prospect and organisation will define a candidate’s unique experience. Touch points include career website visits, application processes, conversations with recruiters, interview scheduling, career fairs and job offers. Organisations aim to deliver both a consistent and positive experience for every According to a study conducted by Glassdoor, “Job seekers have made it clear – they want information from both employees and the employer to make the best job decision possible and will actively be seeking out this information.” A candidate’s background screening and onboarding experience can set the tone for a smooth or rocky start.

Types of Background Screening Checks

Each organisation is unique and requires unique solutions for the hiring process to allow companies to hire with confidence. There are many types of background screening checks from criminal record checks to education and employment verifications to social media screening. Each type of check has specific practical considerations and compliance matters that must be followed. Sterling has many other types of checks that could be important components of the hiring process.

An employment background check provides a detailed look at a new hire, giving organisations the insight they need to make an informed hiring decision. Sterling has just published “Background Screening in the UK-Best Practices to Make Informed Hiring Decisions.” The report looks at nine of the most common pre-employment checks in the UK. The eBook details what each check entails, explain why employers conduct each check and provide some practical considerations that may improve a company’s background screening programme. The report also shares some examples of the discrepancies we’ve found in our data. Discrepancies are red flags that come up when the information provided by the candidate does not match what is found by the screening provider. “Not clear” results may be as innocent as an accidental employment date error, or as significant as a fabricated qualification or undisclosed criminal record. Download a complimentary copy of our report today to find out more about background screening in the UK.

Explore Best Practices of Background Screening in the UK

This publication is for informational purposes only and nothing contained in it should be construed as legal advice. We expressly disclaim any warranty or responsibility for damages arising out this information. We encourage you to consult with legal counsel regarding your specific needs. We do not undertake any duty to update previously posted materials.