We have already discussed the power of background checks, the importance of a robust identity check and the risks of hiring illegal workers; this time around, we’d like to explore why background checks are important, and will only become even more crucial.

Technology has vastly improved in the last few years, which has given us the possibility to work remotely. As exciting as this is, the chances of finding yourself liaising with someone lying about their identity, qualifications or criminal past increase exponentially because you cannot verify the information they have provided face to face.

While the need to run background checks on applicants will vary from business to business, the three points below will be applicable to all companies looking to stay safe, be accountable and reduce employee turnover rates.

Protect your business from liability

Did you know that hiring someone with no right to work in the UK could get you fined £20,000 for each employee? By running a Right to Work Check on your candidate, you mitigate the risks of hiring someone who can’t legally work in the country. Similarly, a Driving Check will ensure that the candidate has, not only the right to drive, but also a clear driving record. Furthermore, in many cases you may want to make sure that the applicant has the right qualifications and experience, as hiring an unqualified person – particularly in the healthcare, education or security industries - could get your company in serious trouble.

Background checks are not optional, but a necessity. It is crucial for companies to ensure that their employees are working within the law, as not doing so could result in legal consequences and the employer could be taken to court. If a company were to be sued, a background check report would serve as proof that the necessary precautions have been taken and that the company is free of liability.

Run your first background check

Be safe

Mitigating risk by observing the rules is important, but reducing the chances of hiring someone who might harm other people is essential. This is why carrying out a Criminal Check can be useful in some cases, especially if the candidate is going to be handling a weapon, such as security guards. You may also want to detect whether the applicant has had trouble with the law in the past, or been aggressive and abusive towards others, so that you can make a more informed decision. This measure would also include candidates who will be working with children or vulnerable adults, as they could have been barred from being anywhere near them.

In addition, you should consider running a FCA Check on any applicants who will be taking up a role that entails economic risk or handling sensitive data. The purpose behind this action is to prevent fraudulent activities and corporate espionage from occurring, as it could harm both your company’s finances and reputation.

Minimise employee turnover

65% of applicants lie on their CV; running Education and Employment Checks is an effective way of ensuring that your applicant has the right education and experience and deserves your trust. Hiring someone who has lied on their resume will just mark the beginning of a complicated professional relationship and a potential dismissal. By verifying a candidate’s qualifications and experience, you are confirming that they have been honest on their CV, which both lays the foundation for a trustworthy professional relationship and reduces future turnovers and long-term costs.

Moreover, hiring someone who is not qualified for the role could harm your company’s reputation. To prevent this from happening, carrying out the appropriate background checks will make the hiring process more practical and functional.

The type of background checks you should run on your applicants will vary depending on your business needs. What remains clear, however, is the fact that background checking is an imperative step for any company wishing to remain responsible, safe and reputable, and Onfido makes the whole process faster, easier and more transparent.

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Irene is the person behind Onfido's social channels and blog. She does marketing stuff and gets to spend time on Twitter. At night, she neglects her own online profiles and reads (paper) books.