The bare necessities: Three essential checks every business should conduct

When it comes to running checks on potential – as well as current – employees, there are no hard-and-fast rules for all appointments. However, there are a number of essential checks that can determine whether a candidate is who they say they are and if they are the right fit for your team.

Andrew Maffett, Chief Commercial Officer at CVCheck, wants companies to modernise their recruitment strategies to minimise the risk of a bad hire. Conducting proper due diligence with the minimum checks can be the difference between a highly successful business and a sinking ship.

No matter what industry you’re in, the size of your business or the number of staff you employ, Maffett says it’s essential to run at least a basic suite of checks on all future employees. Doing this can improve the hiring process while protecting the business and its assets against potential threats.

“Certain checks at the early recruiting stage can actually help in shortlisting the right candidates,” Maffett says. “They provide information that can help with role-by-role specific information. So in the financial sector, something like a credit default or bankruptcy check would be useful in the early stages, while employing someone in a high-risk role might require you to establish if they have their qualifications to drive a forklift, for example.”

What are the essential checks?

While there are a range of checks available, from anti-money laundering to traffic checks, Maffett says all employers should start with the essential three: National Police Check, Employment Reference Check, and Work Entitlement Check.

All can be conducted quickly and online. Outsourcing these checks frees employers and recruiters to focus on more important parts of the recruitment process, while having peace of mind that their candidates will be appropriately vetted by experts.

All can be conducted quickly and online. Outsourcing these checks frees employers and recruiters to focus on more important parts of the recruitment process, while having peace of mind that their candidates will be appropriately vetted by experts.

1. National Police Check

Essential for protecting your company, a National Police Check can now be conducted entirely online and on-demand. The check works within a strict framework outlined by the Australian Criminal Intelligence Committee (ACIC) and serves to verify a candidate’s criminal history – if any – in every Australian state.

Its usefulness extends to clarifying a candidate’s criminal history and helps employers determine if it is relevant to their potential employment. It also gives the candidate a chance to be honest about their background during the interview process.

“The check result may not automatically screen someone out if they have a criminal history. It may be that the criminal history was a long time ago, or that it is completely unrelated to the role the person is filling. In that case, it would provide the basis for a conversation or interview with the applicant, giving them the opportunity to demonstrate their honesty as well.”

2. Employment Reference Check

An Employment Reference Check is an essential tool that helps you avoid known risks to both your business and personal reputation. Previously a time-consuming process, outsourcing this reference check to a third party like CVCheck means you can save hours of admin time and money.

“The Employment Reference Check is a set of questions sent to a referee nominated by the applicant and approved by the employers,” Maffett says. “They then provide feedback on anywhere between 10 and 20 questions. It gives a good amount of background on the individual to determine their suitability for the role, both in terms of their performance and the specific nature of their previous experience.”

Because the questionnaires are designed to suit specific roles, Maffett says they reveal “not only the quality of their previous employment but the nature of it. So in addition to asking whether they were good at their job, you find out whether they were actually doing the job they said they were doing. It ticks two boxes at once.”

3. Work Entitlement Check

In our globalised society, job applicants can often be foreign nationals, particularly in specialised industries, or sectors where there are skill shortages. This raises the likelihood of receiving applications from candidates not authorised to work in Australia.

“The Work Entitlement Check is fundamental and has become even more significant since the ATO introduced single-touch payroll in July 2018,” Maffett says. “That facilitates the transfer of tax data from the ATO to the Department of Home Affairs, which allows them to do live, real-time auditing, and it means they can find out if someone is working outside their visa restrictions in a matter of hours.”

While employers can access a candidate’s visa information free of charge from the government entity VEVO, Maffett explains that businesses are still open to risk.

“The problem with using the VEVO information as opposed to a third-party check such as CVCheck is that it assumes you know the people who are foreign citizens. It doesn’t provide screening for applicants who claim to be Australian citizens but may not be.”

Embracing the proper checks in a tech-centric world

Extreme applicant deception may be rare, but the risks to a company that fails to do its due diligence are considerable. In some cases, a lack of vetting can mean weeks, months or even years of employing an ineligible candidate, and the penalties after being ‘found out’ are often extremely costly.

“In this era of ‘fake news’ where documentation can be fabricated very readily using desktop software, or where expert qualifications can be purchased online, the importance of verifying a candidate’s credentials has become increasingly important,” Maffett says.

“You can’t take their qualifications or claims at face value. You have to go to the source of that information – the principle across the board should be to verify all information provided by a candidate with a credible body.”

CVCheck’s technologically advanced online platform allows employers to conduct all their pre-employment checks quickly, securely and affordably.

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