Why Pre Employment Screening Can Save You Time and Money

pre employment screening

Employees are a major asset to any company. Good employees are worth their weight in gold. A dishonest employee can destroy a company reputation. They can upset other members of staff and even put the company in legal jeopardy.

Pre employment screening of potential staff is now an essential & expected part of the hiring process. It will help protect a company, its employees and its customers.

What is Pre-Employment Screening?

Pre-Employment screening involves checking all the information supplied by a candidate before hiring them for the job.

Companies can run an employment background check in-house or as it more and more the case now, they can outsource this work to a third party.

Pre Employment Checks?

  • Previous employment history
  • Credit history
  • Proof of ID & address
  • Proof of right to work in the UK
  • Supplied character references
  • A valid SIA licence or carrying out basic disclosure/ACPO
  • Coverage of any 31+ day employment gaps
  • National criminal record check
  • International Criminal Record Check where relevant

Industry Specific Standards

  • British Standard BS7858 2012 – A pre-employment screening standard for personnel involved in the protection of people, places and property. This covers roles such as security guards, CCTV installers or alarm installers.
  • Airside Pass – A standard for all personnel who will be working unaccompanied in the restricted zone in a UK airport. This covers staff that direct aircraft and passengers on the ground to others delivering food to planes, to duty-free staff delivering to and working in the stores.
  • FCA checks – The Financial Services Authority (FSA), now divided into the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority, requires a detailed FCA check. This includes the verification and registration of regulated and non-regulated employees covering; honesty, integrity, reputation, competence, and capability.

Pre-Employment Vetting of Contractors, Temporary & Permanent Staff

While this varies depending on the role, screening for contract staff, be they temporary or permanent can include some or all of the following

  • Full CV Verification
  • Right to work, driving licence, sanctions, FSA, PEP list, directorship check, Address validation, Identity verification, etc.
  • Financial checks (CCJ, FSA, OFAC, credit history, and much more)
  • Criminal Record (Basic Disclosure, Standard Disclosure in 48 hours, Enhanced Disclosure in a few days)

International Checks

You can run a European / International Criminal Record Check for all individuals with a European address history for 6 months or more.

Pre-Employment Screening & GDPR

Companies who run Pre-Employment screening will need to collect and store lots of information on potential employees. They must seek permission to do so and much only collect data that is relevant to the job on offer.

Companies must be fully GDPR compliant in how they collect and store personal data.

As a UK Employer you will Need to:

  • Have a legitimate reason to collect information on a potential employee. You can’t just collect information because you may need this information for some unspecified reason in the near or distant future.
  • Consent must be given for data to be collected. You must inform the candidate about what you are doing. You need their permission. Do not assume consent.
  • This data must be stored so an employee can have access to the data if required.
  • Finally, data must be stored securely. If there is a data breach then steps must be taken to ensure it can’t happen again.

Criminal Checks

Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) checks are often part of the pre-employment screening process.  They are now called Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks.

You can’t do a DBS check on yourself. Only companies or licensed bodies can request a DBS check.  If you wish to check your own criminal history then you need to request a Basic Disclosure check on yourself with the appropriate Government body.

Depending on the job role of the applicant there is 3 different types of checks that can be requested. The employer or organisation performing the check  should establish what level is required, key factors can be jobs involving children or vulnerable adults

DBS check applicants must be 16 or over.

Types of DBS are:

  • Basic Disclosure
  • Standard DBS
  • Enhanced DBS

The time it takes to process a DBS check depends on:

  • The level of check to be done
  • Are the details supplied accurate?
  • Which police forces need to be involved in the check

Out Sourcing Pre-Employment Screening

Due to the regulations associated with employment background checks and the time it can take to complete the various checks that need to be done many companies now outsource this work.

Also, if your check includes checking international records then outsourcing this to a specialist company would save a lot of time.


Pre-employment vetting is now a critical part of the hiring process. They are done to protect a company, its employees, and customers from potential harm.  GDPR rules ensure only the required data is collected and stored correctly.  Many sectors have legal responsibilities to perform certain checks before hiring a candidate. Employers should ask your permission to run background checks on individuals. By John McGarry

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