February 11th, 2019 | Sterling

Background Screening 101: Your Questions Answered!

Establishing new HR processes can be challenging in today’s atmosphere of ‘tick box exercises’ and compliance-led change initiatives. With this in mind, our Account Executives help support customers by developing tailored packages and processes that are unique for each client. In this post, we reveal the typical questions asked by employers and give practical answers needed to help develop a thorough screening programme.

  1. Why change to an outsourced provider?

    Risk mitigation is the most compelling reason given to us by our customers. When using an outsourced provider, you place the expertise of fulfilment on the supplier. Enabling your supplier to own part of your recruitment process gives you peace of mind. With our database of over 50,000 HR industry contacts, we already know where to ask for references, we know how long they typically take and we know what level of reference they are prepared to provide. Through the use of strategically developed technology and tried-and-tested methodology, we have successfully helped reduce time-to-hire, while helping to make the world a safer place.

    Secondly,  with a  screened  workforce behind you, your customers, staff and other stakeholders can all have confidence in the robustness of your organisation. The reality is that  the difference between an organisation with a fully BPSS certified workforce and one without could be the difference between winning and losing a contract!

  2. Will you tell me if I should or shouldn’t hire a potential employee?

    No, Sterling is not a law firm so we can’t offer legal advice on whether or not you should hire a candidate, but we can arm you with the best resources to make an informed decision. When we find adverse information, we note it according to how different it is to the original information submitted by your candidate by using flags in our system.

    For example, if a candidate misquoted a start date at a previous employer and we discovered the actual start date was 2 months later, we would note this accordingly. If you think this should be considered a more serious discrepancy, don’t worry – we can amend our standard scoring to reflect what you would consider as a discrepancy.

  3. If there are no regulations in place, should we still screen our employees?

    At Sterling, our aim is to help make the workplace a safer environment. Just because there aren’t any industry standards for the level you should screen your employees, it doesn’t mean there aren’t any risks of fraud or crime in your company. This is why we have industry specific Account Executives with expertise in their sector to help you discover any potential risk within your organisation. From office administrators to CEO’s of multinational corporate entities, we will explore each role and help you develop a program to mitigate that risk.

  4. Our recruitment agency conducts our pre-employment background checks, is this compliant?

    This is a topic discussed often when working with companies who have a large contingent workforce often contractors or employees within the gig economy.

    In short, yes this can be compliant, but this does not necessarily mean it is the best screening solution for your organisation.

    Sterling has been in the business of due diligence screening since 1975, giving us the experience and resources to operate at a  high level – delivering screening programmes with compliance at the forefront for companies of all sizes worldwide, supporting both hiring firms and recruitment agencies alike.

    If you’re in any doubt that your agency is conducting the right checks or may be missing crucial information, then reach out to our Account Executives and we can help you review your current process and advise where we may be able to refine or even strengthen it.

Here are a few quick-fire candidate-related questions we often receive:

  • Will credit checks affect my candidate’s credit score?

    In short, no. These checks are most typically run when the candidate is being placed in a control position, typically working within finance although this can also be portfolio management as well as asset management.

  • How long will the background check take?

    Typically, a background check can take from from 3 to 12 days, depending on what searches you’re conducting. Throughout the process, you can request an update regardless of the status and we’ll provide you with information on what has been completed thus far

  • What kind of data will you need on my candidate?

    This will vary depending on what searches you run. If you’re looking to conduct a criminal record check, then we will need a signed proof that you have seen and verified the candidate’s ID and then a name and an email address. Once this has been obtained, we will take the responsibility of liaising with the candidate.

  • Will you contact my candidate’s current employer?

    We will never contact a current employer without full permission from a candidate. When candidates are completing our  forms, we will specifically ask if we can contact their current employer. We know that securing employment can be a very stressful time and that, more often than not, the candidate will not want their current employer  discovering they’re looking elsewhere, Will my candidate be able to appeal a screening report?

    Typically, HR departments and the governing bodies that we have partnerships strive to provide us with the most up-to-date information, but in the event it is believed the information is inaccurate, Sterling has dedicated team members who will work to resolve any discrepancies.

    We are more than aware that some questions may feel too simple or too complex to ask, but we also know background screening isn’t easy. Whatever questions you may have, our industry leading experts are on hand to guide you through the process.

Still have questions? We’d love to hear from you.

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.