July 25, 2024

Employers prioritise criminal record checks over any other screening service since Covid-19


Businesses say screening for criminal activity has become more important to them than any other kind of employee background check in the post-pandemic world

A new study from Vero Screening has revealed that criminal record checks have seen the greatest increase in importance among UK employers than any other kind of employee screening service since the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to the study, which interviewed more than 250 businesses, more than a third (41%) of companies say screening for criminal activity whilst making background checks on their employees has become much more important to them in the post-pandemic world than it was before.

The findings have been released in Vero’s new whitepaper, entitled ‘The Changing Face of Background Screening’, which looks into the issues and challenges businesses are facing when it comes to the recruitment and retention of new skills in the post-pandemic world.

The global screening services provider asked organisations from across the UK and Europe about their attitudes towards, and current levels of engagement in, pre-employment screening practices. It found that criminal background checks were deemed to be the most important kind of pre-employment check to employers, closely followed by ID document verification and education verification following Covid-19.

Only 28% felt that social media checks, drivers licence checks and gap analysis were important in the current climate, although a clear majority of businesses (81%) did agree that the candidate/employee experience of the screening process was also becoming more important.

Rupert Emson, CEO at Vero, said: “It’s not a great surprise that businesses are feeling the pressure to use increasingly effective employment screening practices in a world where, thanks to the effects of Covid-19, the hiring of staff to work remotely from all corners of the world is becoming ever more commonplace.”

“What is interesting, however, is that the majority of employers are still primarily concerned with the criminal past of the people they are seeking to hire when, the reality is, we’ve come a long way from the standard ‘DBS’ check that many still conventionally associate with the kind of work organisations like Vero do.”

“At its simplest, employment screening is the process of determining whether or not an individual is suitable for a given role, and today this can mean making sure a person’s previous activity regarding social media, their finances, professional qualifications, driving record and much more stands up too,” Rupert added.

“So, while it’s heartening for those of us working hard to support employers in making effective hiring decisions to hear that they are recognising the importance of employment screening more than ever, it’s also a bit concerning that it is still being rolled out with a candidate’s criminal involvement primarily in mind.”

Vero, an Accurate Background Inc company, is a market-leading screening provider with a global reach, offering an innovative, service-orientated and user-friendly approach to compliance, human resources, digital technology and more.

Its newly released whitepaper has also seen businesses admit the pandemic has made background checks on potential and existing employees in general more crucial than ever, with three quarters of those questioned in agreement. Key findings from the research also showed that, despite this, only 3 in 5 businesses are routinely screening 75% or more of their existing workforce and/or suppliers.

“What we’re seeing is that, while the pandemic has led businesses to appreciate the importance of making checks on prospective and existing employees to a much greater degree, a large majority are still not putting these observations into practice,” Rupert added.

“So, what we need to do now, is support those businesses in properly understanding the full scope of what can be done to ensure the checks they are making fit with the sector and locations they are working in too.”


Vero’s new whitepaper ‘The Changing Face of Background Screening’ is available to download at www.veroscreening.com/research.