Technically speaking you could delve so deep into a person’s history that pre employment checks could go on forever, but in the real world it’s more a case of targeting what really matters and scrutinising the essentials.

As such, the following five examples represent the most fundamentally important screening points of any background check to be carried out prior to taking on a new employee:

1. Identity
Vital for reasons of both safety and cooperation with the law, it is vital to look into the person’s identity and never take anything at face value. This involves looking into various sources of verification which include both the candidate’s own identification documents and other publicly available resources like the electoral register.

Before even considering looking into what they’ve done, you need to know for sure who they actually are!

2. Education
This is the subject that by far becomes the most embellished and ‘tweaked’ when it comes to candidate applications.

Not only are some employers willing to take the list of qualifications and achievements on a CV at face value, but pretty much anyone with a computer and a printer these days could easily forge their own certificates and documents. As such, any relevant and important areas of education must actually be probed, rather than just assumed as authentic.

3. Employment History
Very few candidates would ever take the risk of lying about their previous jobs, but this doesn’t mean that a large proportion won’t be ‘creative’ when it comes to their duties and responsibilities. As such, if certain skills and experience must be verified for the role in question, it is again vital to dig a little deeper than the words on the paper.

4. Gaps
Any gaps present in a working or educational history must be scrutinised to the finest detail. There’s nothing to suggest that a gap must by rights be a bad thing, but without any explanation or verification you technically have no idea whatsoever what the candidate was doing at the time. This can be a tough area to probe and obtain substantiation for, but is vital nonetheless.

5. Reference Checks
And finally, it’s not enough to contact the candidates references listed on their CV and assume their insights are genuine – how about a little reference checking to make sure that the references are in fact who they say they are? This is perhaps the most overlooked point of all, although it could not be more critical as a screening measure.

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