If you're applying for a courier or delivery role, you may find this FAQ more suitable.
While our clients partner with us to manage their pre-employment screening processes, we also aim to provide a straight forward experience for the candidate and support them through this part of the application procedure. If you can't find the answer you're looking for here, you may wish to check out our videos explaining more about the background check process and what you can expect.
Sterling works with leading employers to ensure candidates have a simple and straightforward background screening experience and that they are supported throughout all stages of the process.
My Background Check
It may be that you have recently applied for a position with one of our clients and are therefore going through a standard employee onboarding procedure. Alternatively, you may be a current employee of one of our clients who are conducting retrospective or repeat screening.
Employers have a duty of care to check the backgrounds of prospective employees for the sake of their business, staff, clients and, in some cases, the public at large. For the employer, such checks provide the information necessary to make well-informed hiring decisions – information which can reduce the expense of re-hiring, re-training and avoid possible reputational damage. For the candidate, it provides a straightforward opportunity to give background information to a prospective employer and potentially fast-track the application process.
When our client initiates your screening, you will receive an email which contains a link to access our secure Candidate Hub, which captures all of the information needed to conduct the screening checks requested by our client. Once you have submitted your information, we begin conducting the checks. Real-time results are made available to our client so that they are aware of the screening progress. You will be contacted if any additional information is required from you after the screening has commenced.
The information required from you depends on the level of screening being conducted. Typically, we require details such as your name, date of birth, address history and information on your employment and education history. You will only be asked to provide information relevant to the screening being conducted.
For security purposes, the online forms will remain active for a limited time only – usually a few days, after which time they will become inactive and any information you have entered up to that point will be lost.
If you’re a candidate and you have found yourself here on the Sterling website, the chances are that you have received an email asking you to complete your details as part of an application process. Our Candidate Hub allows candidates to submit information relating to career history, educational and professional qualifications, contacts for references, and upload documents and I.D’s to support applications. Once completed, the application is sent directly to the employer who will receive candidate information in one easy-to-view document. As part of the submission process, candidates will be asked for their digital signature – Sterling will not complete any services without the written authorization of the individual concerned.
Employers will tell you that honesty is always the best policy. It is best to declare any negative information when asked rather than try to conceal it and have it later uncovered by the screening process. In fact, when providing your authorization you will be making an explicit declaration that all the information you have provided is accurate, to the best of your knowledge. Our advice would be to speak to your prospective or current employer and let them know what your concerns are before the screening takes place.
When we ask for a document to be uploaded, we are only looking for an image of a document which is legible, and preferably in colour. As such, a digital photograph taken with a smart phone or digital camera will be sufficient. There is a limit on the combined file size of documents that are uploaded however, so please do your best to ensure that the file size is not excessive. As a guide, an image document which is 500kb in size should have all of the required elements and be perfectly legible. It is the resolution that a photograph is taken at which dictates the file size; it may be necessary for you to reduce the resolution setting on your camera’s settings menu.
No, we need to complete a new check each time to ensure information is accurate and up-to-date.
Once all your information is received by Sterling, your background check is expected to take between 10 to 15 days, although it may be far less in some instances.
If we need additional information from you or need to discuss an issue, you’ll hear from a member of the Sterling team directly.
You will be informed by the company requesting the check when your background check has been completed.
All personal information is stored securely by Sterling. Once your details are received and a background check has commenced, data is processed in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Information is secured with ISO27001 protocols and maintained for a period of time as required for privacy legislation, audit purposes, and client requirements.
Upon request, an individual will be informed of the existence, use, and disclosure of his or her personal information and shall be given access to that information, except where it is not permitted by law. Should Sterling receive a request relating to a background check conducted on behalf of a client, Sterling, as a data processor, will notify the client (the data controller) and seek direction on how to handle the request.
For full details regarding access to personal information, please see our privacy statement.
We only keep your data for as long as we need it. Sometimes, the law or a source requires us to keep information for a minimum amount of time. For more information about retention of personal information, keep reading here.
If you are not happy with how we have collected, used, disclosed, or otherwise handled your personal information, or if you tried to make a choice or exercise rights about your personal information and you are not happy with the outcome, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We commit to investigating and resolving all complaints we receive about privacy and data protection. If you are still not satisfied, in some locations you may be able to complain to a regulatory or supervisory authority, details of which can be made available to you.
I have more questions about my background check that aren’t listed here.
If you can’t find the answer to your question above, you can reach the Sterling team via the contact form on this page or by contacting Sterling on: +44 (0)2087 410000, Option 2 (Business Hours: 8AM – 6PM UK time)
Candidate Guidance video
For most people, having your background checked by a potential employer doesn’t happen often and so it may feel a little unfamiliar. Our short video explains why you are being asked for a background check and what is involved.