Bad Hires - The Importance of Candidate Vetting

Whether you need an extra pair of hands for a short-term project or someone to provide full-time support, hiring employees is essential for almost every organisation. But what if you hire the wrong person?

34% of UK organisations are guilty of not performing sufficient pre- employment checks and have instead relied on their instincts alone. While you might trust your gut, some candidates can use this lack of screening to their advantage to pull the wool over your eyes. They could have a fantastic CV and a great personality, but could be hiding a criminal record or have no proof of a right to work in the UK, amongst other things.

On the other hand, they could be lying on their CV and providing false information in order to stand out in an increasingly competitive job market. Unfortunately, without being vetted beforehand, these issues won’t come to light until it’s too late.

A bad hire can cause a medley of issues for your organisation, ranging from lost productivity to internal disruption amongst your existing team. There is also the monetary costs of finding and training up a replacement, as studies have found that 50% of hires based on first impressions alone will fail. The damage can be greater still if they take part in illegal activities while working for your organisation as this can ruin your reputation with your clients and customers.

So, while it might seem like a long-winded and time-consuming process, vetting your candidates before you offer them a job is definitely worthwhile. Still not seeing the benefits? Here are a few which we think will change your mind.

It saves valuable time

It’s no secret that finding the ideal candidate for a role can take time. From organising interviews to reading through countless applications, it’s not something that can be rushed. But did you know that a vetting process can actually save you time? Announcing on the job advertisement that you are going to carry out background, criminal and credit checks can discourage high risk candidates from applying, therefore saving you both time and money.

The vetting process can assess each application to determine which candidates are the best suited to the role and discard any that don’t meet your requirements. This will reduce the number of candidates you need to interview and ensures that you only meet with the absolute cream of the crop

Improvement the quality of your candidates can lead to better employees on your workforce, higher productivity rates, increased quality in your service, and a lower employee turnover rate. These are benefits that any organisation would love to take advantage of.

It increases the security and compliance of your brand

Employee related threats such as theft and fraud are understandably a big concern for any organisation. Thankfully, vetting potential candidates can give you some additional protection. This is particularly important if the candidates you are hiring will have access to sensitive information, stock and equipment such as tills, safes and ATMs as part of their role.

A vetting process can pinpoint which candidates are likely to be untrustworthy by helping you to uncover criminal records or previous disputes with employers which the candidate may not mentioned during an interview. By eliminating these candidates from the process you can considerably reduce the risk of identity fraud, violence and stock or money being stolen from your organisation.

As an employer, it’s your responsibility to provide a safe working environment for your employees. By vetting each of your candidates beforehand you’re making the safety of your employees a priority. After all, your team should feel safe and comfortable when they are at work. Having a structured and thorough vetting process in place also demonstrates your compliance to insurers, clients and customers, which can help to protect you from reputational damage.

It can help you to avoid a hefty fine

Believe it or not, failing to check whether your candidates have a right to work in the UK could result in you having to pay a penalty of £20,000 per illegal employee and you may also be served with a jail sentence. Surprisingly, many organisations don’t realise the severity of not carrying out this check and it’s often overlooked. If it comes to light that you haven’t been vetting your candidates at all, a lawsuit is likely to be the outcome.

Vetting candidates can be a costly process, especially if you’re hiring multiple employees over a short period. But it’s better to think of it as an investment rather than an inconvenient expense. After all, spending a little now could help you to avoid having to spend thousands later on.

There is always an element of risk when you decide to hire a new employee and sometimes there is no way of completely avoiding hiring the wrong person. But by utilising a vetting process, you can reduce the chances of this happening considerably. With access to endless information at our fingertips, there is no excuse to not find out more about prospective employees before getting them to sign on the dotted line. 

So, next time you find a candidate that performs extremely well during an interview and has a glowing CV, remember that if they seem too good to be true, they probably are.

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Amy Beasley

14th February

Hiring Advice