Customer FAQs

If you’re a customer and you have a question about our services, you may be able to find the answer below. If you’re not yet a customer and you’re interested in our services, we’d love to hear from you.

If you’re an applicant, you may find these FAQs more suitable.

Employers have a duty of care to check the backgrounds of prospective employees for the sake of shareholders, fellow employees, clients and in some instances the public. A thorough pre-employment background check can save an organisation an enormous amount of expense and resource further down the road. Sterling’s services can avoid the need for additional HR staff, accelerate the recruiting process and dramatically improve the quality of background information necessary to make well-informed hiring decisions. This can reduce the expense associated with turnover and re-training – not to mention the reputational damage that a ‘bad hire’ can inflict on the company and its clients.

Sterling research also found that meeting regulatory compliance is the number one reason why companies perform pre-employment background checks. This is followed by enhancing safety and security in the workplace and preventing fraud or other criminal activity.

A reliable background checking programme can directly minimise employee turnover, decrease the cost of hiring and training budgets, reduce internal fraud and theft, as well as improve the overall employee performance and morale. Sterling internally tracks the number of “hits” uncovered during pre-employment screening, such as criminal records, negative reference information, poor credit history, and education embellishments. We will work with you to measure the benefits of your pre-employment screening programme.

A job applicant must give written or electronic consent prior to a third-party screening company like Sterling conducting any criminal record search, credit history check or reference interview.

Sterling asks the client as to their preferences. Some clients prefer that we contact the applicant directly for missing information, while others prefer to handle this internally. Sterling will never contact your applicant directly without your authorisation.

This is very much dependent on your specific background screening objectives. There are a wealth of checks available and we will work with you to ensure your screening package best matches your needs and have experts on hand to ensure you adhere to legal requirements and remain fully compliant at all times (although this should not replace, or act as a substitute to, your legal counsel).

You’re advised to work with your own legal counsel when developing your background screening programme. There is much variation between countries and industry laws. However, your industry and job requirements will likely give you a good starting point.

Our background checks comply with local laws, and our compliance team stay on top of legislative and regulatory changes. In addition, we provide regular updates on legislation, while also keeping you informed with webinars and resource material.

In some regulated industries it is essential for prospective employers to process certain types of background check prior to recruiting an individual. For many other sectors it may not be a legal requirement but comes very strongly recommended. At Sterling we believe it to be best practice to complete a pre-employment background check after a job offer has been made.  Implementing a consistent vetting policy will help to strengthen your onboarding process and reduce business risk.  .

We commonly use the term “turn around time” to describe how long a pre-employment check in the UK takes. The times vary significantly based on the types of searches conducted in the check and on the company that provides them. Some of the more simple checks may be completed inside 24 hours, while more complex searches, such as international credit checks, may take many weeks or months. At Sterling we’re confident we offer the fastest turnaround times in the industry – without compromising accuracy.

Sterling verifies an applicant’s employment history, including previous job titles and job descriptions, as well as start and end dates. Our highly trained team of verification experts contact former employers to manually verify information and the accuracy of a candidate’s application. We also provide in-depth education history verification and professional qualification checks to ensure all details on a candidate’s CV are true and complete.

All personal information is stored securely by Sterling. Once consent forms are received and a background check has commenced, access to information is restricted to end-users as defined by consent forms and in accordance with the Data Protection Act. Information is stored and maintained for a period of time as required for privacy legislation, audit purposes, and client requirements. Read our privacy statement for more information.

With offices worldwide across 12 countries Sterling provides global solutions with multilingual support for Criminal Record Checks, Reference Checks, and ID verification. Criminal Record Checks are retrieved from local government agencies, police, or the most reliable source from over 195 countries.

A series of helpful training videos and resources can be found on the platform within the help and resources center.

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