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What to consider when choosing a background screening partner

Employing a new worker can be a challenging experience, regardless of how comprehensive your recruitment process is. One of the difficulties involved when recruiting new staff is ensuring that prospective candidates are providing accurate, truthful details on their CV. It’s an issue that many organisations must be prepared for, and research from recruitment company OneShift has shown that the number of fraudulent resumes remains high.

Speaking to News.com.au, CEO of OneShift, Gen George, noted that a survey from her firm revealed more than 56 per cent of respondents had lied on their CV.

“People do it because they want to impress and tick all the boxes,” says George.

“It’s about getting the interview and once they’re in the door they sell themselves on personality, but they feel they have to over-impress to get past that first barrier.”

How confident are you in the background details of your candidates?
How confident are you in the background details of your candidates?

For many organisations hiring for a specific role, a history of criminal conviction may be enough to exclude an applicant. Given Ms George’s comments that more than half of your potential candidates may not be completely forthcoming with their background information, many employers are choosing to conduct more robust criminal background checks as part of their recruitment strategy.

Selecting an appropriate police check provider can ensure transparency at the recruitment stage, saving time and expense.

The problem with poor background checking

Companies that don’t carry out relevant background screening on candidates may find themselves in a vulnerable position. Businesses operating in the transport and logistics sector, for example, need to confirm employees have the right licenses necessary for the position, and also verify a clean driving record for workers who will spend time on the road.

Perhaps it’s time to consider a more robust criminal background check as part of your recruitment strategy.

For roles that involve management of a large amount of sensitive, confidential data or financial information of the company or its clients, for example, making sure any potential candidates have no history of fraudulent behaviour is essential.

In a July 2016 case in New Zealand, for example, a man was found to have funnelled hundreds of thousands of company funds to personal bank accounts, a decade after being convicted of defrauding a former employer of over $1 million. Had the employer in this case carried out suitable criminal records checks before hiring, the earlier conviction would have been discovered, allowing the organisation to make a better hiring decision.

This example identifies the key benefit of thorough background checks – they offer business leaders valuable insight into potential candidates, meaning the decisions at the point of hire can be made with a greater level of confidence in the new worker. A comprehensive background screening process should include not only police checks, but employment history, qualification and work rights checks.

Understanding your criminal background check options

Whether omitting a minor indiscretion from their past or blatantly hiding serious charges that will exclude them from continuing their career, there are many reasons why a candidate might neglect to mention elements of their criminal history when applying for a job. Depending on the nature of the crime, your organisation has the right to determine whether someone is suitable for your vacancy, but you obviously need accurate details to make such a decision.

It's important to verify the driving record of workers in the transport industry.
It’s important to verify the driving record of workers in the transport industry.

Depending on the specific candidate, your organisation can consider two options:

  • Police checks – In Australia, background checks are conducted with information accessible to employers through the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC). Across the Tasman in New Zealand, the Ministry of Justice holds criminal conviction data, again accessible to employers investigating the background of their applicants.
  • International police checks – In a highly diverse and multicultural workforce, it’s common for job applicants to come from all over the globe. According to the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection, almost 100,000 skilled worker visas were applied for in 2014/15, so conducting international police checks is an important part of the employment process.

Depending on the location you are investigating, a criminal background check can be carried out quickly, with results available in a manner of minutes in some cases. That speed can be crucial when finding the best employee, allowing you to move through the employment process more easily and fill your vacancies sooner.

Before your next hire, consider what background screening processes are appropriate for your organisation. Each company and role may be accompanied with unique risk factors, so police checks – both country-specific and international – employment history, and qualification and work rights checks may offer valuable insight that significantly enhances your recruiting processes.

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