Background checks are increasingly becoming part of corporate hiring policies. Many businesses are hiring private security and investigative agencies to run background checks on potential employees and thanks to digital technology, it is now harder to hide any previous criminal convictions or fake an identity. Verifying who someone says they are can be particularly pertinent for sectors working with children or vulnerable adults, as well as helping to protect corporate assets and business secrets. Therefore, the background check is now a vital tool for businesses looking to expand their workforce.
What is a background check?
A background check is a legal investigation designed to verify a person’s identity, establish the truth in any claims they have made, and uncover any previous criminal convictions. It is sometimes known as a pre-employment screening check.
Background checks are nothing new, government agencies and the civil service have regularly carried out background checks to assess the suitability of a potential new hire, but with fast moving technology and social media playing such a large part in the day to day lives of most people, hiring a private investigator to run a background check is now more commonplace that you would imagine and is often a key component of the recruitment process.
When should a business or company conduct a background check?
If you are looking to employ someone new, then it would be advisable to conduct a thorough background check on the person before offering them a contract. This helps protect your business and brand from possible embarrassment, asset theft and if you are hiring someone to be in your life on a personal level, such as a childcare worker or cleaner, helps protect your loved one from harm.
Having a background check can also reassure you that there can be a level of trust in your potential employee and they will be a good fit with your business and business ethics and values.
What should the background check include?
A background check should firstly be done in compliance with all UK rules and regulations. Depending on the job type and the industry, it can include the following:
- Criminal Record Check: Criminal record checks are the most common of all the background checks undertaken and ascertain whether a potential employee has a criminal record, any previous convictions and if so, what those convictions are for. However, there are caveats to this type of search. It must be proportionate and relevant to the job role and be in full compliance with the Rehabilitation of Offender Act, whereby spent convictions cannot be requested by the check.
- Reference Check: Most employers will ask for a minimum of two references before offering a candidate a job. Reference checks are used to contact the previous employers to verify any information given. They cannot be used to ask any discriminatory or defamatory questions.
- Accreditation and Educational Check: If you have doubts about the educational level and credentials obtained by a potential employee, or work in an industry where certain licences and special qualifications are needed in order to legally carry out the job, then an accreditation and educational check will be needed. This helps protect your business from future litigation should work not be carried out to a certain standard.
- Right to work checks: It is important to conduct right to work checks for all employees. These are now mandatory and ensure any potential candidate has the legal right to work in the UK. All employers must keep a record of the identification documents supporting their employee’s right to work.
- Social Media Checks: If you want to protect your business from any damage caused by an employee’s presence on social media, then conducting a social media check is recommended. This check can highlight any racist, sexist or any other discriminating remarks made that could cause harm to your brand reputation or have a negative impact on your business.
- Driving Checks: If the job you are recruiting includes a driving element, then running a DVLA check is advisable. This can tell you the driving history of your potential candidate including any driving convictions or bans and points accumulated. This allows you to make an informed decision as to whether the candidate is suitable for the role.
Do I really need a private investigator to conduct a background check?
Although some checks can be conducted by your business, in order to get a thorough examination of a person’s background, you will need the skills of an expert. Private investigators are often highly trained in following a digital footprint and accessing the information needed to form a background check. They are fully aware of the laws and legislation around what they can and cannot do in the UK and by hiring a private investigator you don’t run the risk of inadvertent non-compliance with discrimination laws.
There are many companies out there that offer to conduct a background check, but you need to make sure that no vital information is missed that can cause future problems for your business or organisation. So to minimise the risk, it is best to consult an expert and hire a reputable private investigator.
What can a Private Investigator offer?
A private investigator can offer a bespoke service tailored to your individual business needs and recruitment strategies. This means a reputable agency or investigator should offer initial consultations to ascertain your requirements and discover the types of background checks that will be needed to determine the information you want. By discussing your requirements, any check carried out will be bespoke to your business, so you only pay for what you need, giving you far more value for money than a large corporation that will simply do a generic check on automated databases.
This level of attention also allows for a more meticulous search, and private investigators are trained to spot anomalies and irregularities that automated solutions may miss. With most investigators coming from a police or military background, you can ensure any search is carried out both thoroughly and with due diligence.
Hiring a private investigator or employing the services of a security agency ensures your peace of mind that any information collected during the background check is handled sensitively and the background check itself is done discreetly. Make sure you find a private investigator that adheres to the industry wide ethical code of conduct, look out for professional accreditations and membership of organisations such as the Association of British Investigators (ABI) and the UK Professional Investigators Network (UKPIN.)
Background Checks with OpSec Solutions
If you are looking to add background checks as standard recruitment practice, or you have suspicions about potential candidates, then OpSec Solutions can offer you a personal service that is bespoke to your requirements. Our team takes time to assess every request in detail. After a consultation, we will outline a clear plan, tailored to the type of background check you require.
With over 10 years of experience, OpSec Solutions have earned full accreditations from the Association of British Investigators, the Institute of Professional Investigators, and the U.K Professional Investigators Network. This means that, when employing any of the services provided by us, you have peace of mind that these experts will find the truth and any private investigative services, methods and techniques are carried out ethically, legally and with full confidentiality.
During the course of any background check, private investigators will be collecting information regarding the identification of a person, as such, any private investigator is required to be registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office to ensure adherence with data protection laws. Our team here at OpSec Solutions consistently meet the highest standard for registration and take the guidelines around obtaining and the subsequent storage extremely seriously, which helps protect your business and any data or evidence collected during the search.
Hiring a private investigator can be a difficult experience for some and we want our clients to be able to trust us and feel comfortable about how we operate. By using a reputable firm such as OpSec, you ensure anyone working on your case has the required background in the corporate sector and is fully supported by our use of innovative technology solutions. This means we use techniques that will allow us to stay discreet and considerate and your candidate will not be notified of any check or investigation.
If you are in need of our help for an employee background check or any of the other services, we offer here at OpSec Solutions, we are just a phone call or email away. Contact our team on 0123 456 789 or [email protected] to arrange a free consultation today.