Is pre-employment screening a necessary evil?

It’s an all too common scenario where a knee jerk reaction to hiring leads to no references or background checks being completed, leading to illegal hiring or simply hiring an ill-suited person for the job.

It’s a competitive market out there so with technical, commercial, operational roles often not requiring security clearance, sometimes a quick call to a connected person is all a company completes. Pre-employment screening often slows down the hiring process, so if a company finds the ‘right person’ they may duck full screening to get them on-board. Is it a necessary evil though? Don’t you want to know who works for you?

So how long does a full screen take:

Non Security Clearance Roles; 1-2 days max

  • Passport or Visa confirmation if needed
  • Address confirmation
  • NI confirmation.
  • Specialist certifications approval or confirmation. (Medics, Teachers, Doctors etc)
  • 2 personal references (if they are prompt)

Security Clearance Roles – 2-6 weeks depending…..

  • Nationality confirmation and visa confirmation if needed
  • 5-year verified work history with gaps more than 3 months highlighted
  • 5-year address history
  • 2 personal references
  • Current address confirmation via bank statement.
  • Credit check
  • Enhanced DBS check
  • Often parental background check (mother’s maiden name)

To hire a non-security cleared person it’s easy to slip the checks or validate who they are. Often the checks are completed after the offer, with pressure to hire mounting on the manager. With security cleared positions, plenty of variables slow down the checks; referees not responding, DBS check takes up to 6 weeks, address don’t line up etc.

You can see how they are a necessary evil, but one of the factors delaying completion is the management of the data, with each person having 20 fields to cover for the security cleared role. Managing multiple applicants through an Excel system, no matter how great you are at freeze panes and pivot tables, will mean that inevitably some will slip through the net.

Recently, Northumbria Police  have stated that 90% of their force aren’t fully vetted to the recent guidelines, drawing a conclusion they are under utilised and have no staff to deliver, taken their eye off the ball or simply it’s not their priority. Do they see vetting or screening as a necessary evil? They shouldn’t. If done correctly, its a painless process completed with full tracking of status, progress and smooth running.

Cataphract have developed an SaaS Platform where you can manage all of your security cleared employee’s data, and track references and certificates.  It is designed for Home Office based projects, but can be tailor made and customised to any client’s needs. Automated reminders custom set to highlight 3 months until end of passport, security clearance, driving licence, technical or financial accreditation if re certification is needed.

Get in contact with to discuss the software and how we can assist with pre-employment checks.

David Clark

Posted by David Clark
May 5, 2017, in Pre Employment (BPSS)

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