Verify before employing!

One of the most looked at areas of a candidates CV is their previous work experience. This is a key element for an employer, as it is heavily relied upon when it comes to making that almighty decision of whether or not they want to employ an individual. Previous work experience can give an employer insight into the candidate’s skills and areas of expertise, allowing the employer to make an informed decision. However this is also one of the areas on a CV which is hugely falsified. A lot of individuals tend to stretch the truth when it comes to aspects such as job titles held, salary and qualifications. Although these may appear to be small white lies, this is considered to be fraud by false representation which can lead to imprisonment, anything up to 10years.

Another area which is often attempted to be covered up is gaps in employment and educational history. Candidates will amend the start and end dates of jobs to make it appear they were in that particular place of work longer than they actually were.

Carrying out background screening checks can provide you with valuable information about a potential employees work habits. It will also help identify any areas where a candidate has given misleading information and would allow you as an employer to make a fact based decision.

 

What do we offer?

Here at Safe Screening we provide you with a screening solution which will allow you to carry out various checks to ensure that what candidates are saying on their CV’s is in fact the truth. You can design your workflow (background check) to include the specific questions you would like a previous employee to answer. These could include questions such as term of employment, titles held, job duties, salary and even the reason for termination. A candidate would have to give their permission in order for this information to be obtained, which is also part of the vetting process. Candidates do have the right to deny permission to contact a previous employer however they can still be asked to prove employment via other means such as payslips.

As the economy is quickly gaining steam, employers are finding a much more competitive job market. By carrying out employment verifications, they can safeguard the foundation of their employee base.

To find out more, visit www.safescreening.co.uk, email info@safecomputing.co.uk or call 0844 583 2134. 

 

 

Know who you are employing!

 

How often do we hear that someone has been dismissed or has faced fines and potentially a prison sentence due to not being truthful about their background and experience? Existing in the busy surroundings that we do, it is often likely that when screening a candidate aspects will be missed out. If employers are getting smart, then those who manipulate the system are getting smarter! Ensuring that the right checks are carried out is important and should be made mandatory. By not carrying out the relevant checks not only are the wrong people being placed in certain jobs but also the lives of vulnerable individuals are being put at risk. These checks need to be completed to the highest standards and where employers are taking personal responsibility to do this; they need to ensure that no short cuts are being taken.

A care home nurse was sacked after she left an elderly lady with dementia untreated after spilling boiling water on her. The elderly woman had been lying in pain for hours. The scald was a foot wide and the care home nurse failed to call an ambulance depriving the woman of the care she needed.  Ms Hayibor was given a police caution for assault against the vulnerable resident but did not reveal her conviction to the trust she was primarily working for.

A maths teacher has been banned from the classroom for attempting to conceal her criminal past. Samantha Burmis enlisted her daughter to provide fingerprints for her; however this soon came to light as her daughters prints were already on file. Burmis was trying to hide a mortgage fraud which had resulted in a prison sentence back in 1995. Since then Burmis obtained a degree in law and became a qualified teacher. She had several different teaching jobs and in each one she failed to mention her criminal past. Burmis was expecting a pay out of £1.2million for unfair dismissal but was awarded £21,788 due to not declaring previous convictions.

There are several different checks that can be carried out to ensure that we avoid employing the wrong people. These checks go beyond the criminal background checks allowing employers to get an insight on their potential employees.  

Safe Screening is a leading provider in carrying out these checks. Below is a list of the checks we can carry out. Depending on the nature of the role there are variations of checks which can be completed on an individual to ensure that you know who you are employing. By using Safe Screening you can ensure that those who are not suitable, eligible or qualified for the role will not be able to pass the screening process. As an employer not only is this a cost effective facility which can save both time and resources, it also provides you with the peace of mind that those who are working with you are exactly who they claim to be! Safe Screening can provide you with a reliable platform to carry out the necessary checks in a timely and efficient manner.

To find out more, visit www.safescreening.co.uk, email info@safecomputing.co.uk, or call 0844 583 2134. 

Mistreatment in care homes prompts CQC calls for CCTV

Mistreatment in care homes prompts CQC calls for CCTV 

 

In the wake of a documentary which shocked millions of viewers with undercover filming of mistreatment in care homes, many began debating the safety of vulnerable adults. In response to this, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) reportedly discussed the idea of CCTV in residents’ rooms in the latter part of 2013. A very large chain of nursing homes is now rumoured to be on the verge of making this a reality, to help ease fears of relatives of those in care. There are still grey areas and debateable points over the logistics of this, with CQC recommending that intimate care procedures should not be filmed. Although any suggestions to assist better standards of care are welcomed, the CQC debate the issues surrounding privacy versus safety. These considerations provoke a number of ethical and practical objections, with specific concerns about intimate care. 

 

This is just one of the latest waves of recommendations the CQC has been making to care industry providers, who need to stay ahead of the curve if they are to retain current and gain future private business. That being said, eighty percent of relatives surveyed were in favour of the proposed CCTV scheme. This startlingly high figure infers that the clients’ relatives have significant mistrust of the staff, the integrity of the care organisation and furthermore, are not satisfied with the care their loved ones are receiving. 

 

One way health and social care recruiters can ensure they are taking all steps possible to ensure a satisfactory workforce and compliance, is to conduct background checks on candidates before they are hired. A fully automated software solution such as Safe Screening can help with this. This cloud-based software can be accessed from anywhere, from any device able to connect to the internet. In this, healthcare providers can facilitate standardised pre-employment screening processes and users within the organisation are unified, all at banking level security. Furthermore, each entry, request and correspondence is time and date stamped; a fully demonstrable audit trail in line with CQC regulations. 

 

To find out more about Safe Screening, visit www.safescreening.co.uk, call 0844 583 2134, or email info@safecomputing.co.uk, or register for a free short webinar http://www.safescreening.co.uk/general/webinars2014/.

 

How do recruiters find the right provider and the questions to ask?

As with any purchase decision it’s important for the buyer to consider the unique selling points of the supplier and their product. For those looking to invest in cloud based Safe Screening (safescreening.co.uk), there are many. At the forefront of cloud technology, yet backed by over four decades of experience, Safe Screening is born of Safe, founded and providing software solutions since 1975. Hosted on the Amazon platform, Safe Screening offers data backup and security of the highest levels possible. Should any of the clustered servers fail, another will save and replace any missing data, without interruption of service.  With support of the cloud based model, Safe Screening is able to offer load baring regulation, so no peaks or troughs in activity affect SLAs, due to the cloud storage format. Recruiters should consider the supplier, product, and support package to make an informed choice before purchase.

Does cloud computing have the ability to evolve? If so how do you see this happening over the next 2 years?

With all the associated benefits it would seem cloud computing is the better solution, so the evolution would be an increase in utilisation. Traditional methods and practices will eventually thus fall by the way side as this technology replaces them. Fear of use will reduce as securities continue to improve and education and awareness regarding security increases in the market place. Technology providers who were early adopters, such as Safe Screening (safescreening.co.uk), will hold the lion’s share of the market. The course of the next two years could see ‘me too’ providers arrive.  Whilst imitation is the highest form of flattery, those with established relationships and technologies would be expected to provide the best solutions in the long term.

What are recruiters looking for in a cloud computing model?

Recruiters want the benefits of online storage and the flexibility to log in on any device from any location to manage their process without losing control. Utilising secure login web portals for self-management and process automation, cloud based Safe Screening (safescreening.co.uk) can deliver recruiters a pre-employment candidate checking system that embodies all these benefits. Moreover, with contracts and compliance facilities, and secure portals for all in the process, Safe Screening can help both temporary and permanent resources with on boarding and transparency to clients.

The challenges when implementing cloud computing?

The main challenge is fear of security. Various hacking stories in the press cause people to doubt information storage in a digital format within their own domain of devices they control. It’s partly a leap of faith to put pre-employment screening information, which can be highly confidential, in a cloud environment. Safe Screening combats this fear through data access restricted portals, which only allow those at each level of the process to see only what they need to see for their aspect of the process. Safe Screening (safescreening.co.uk) is further supported by the Amazon web platform, securing the data storage to the highest levels possible, as such a large company can dedicate near infinite resources to data security.

How is cloud computing benefitting the recruitment industry?

There are various benefits to true cloud computing in the original sense of the term. By using Amazon servers, Safe Screening is able to offer customers a solution which can manage peaks and troughs in candidate vetting. Clustered servers with the support of Amazon means the Safe Screening (safescreening.co.uk) solution can be powered by as little or as much space as is needed. If just one customer conducts one check a year, or 100 new customers run 1000 checks a day, service levels would be constant. There’s a safety in the support too. As Amazon cluster servers and spread data between with backups, should one fail, the others support, no data is lost service is not reduced. Over traditional manual screening checking services, these benefits are highly beneficial to recruiters and really help make Safe Screening unique in the market place.

For those who don’t understand, what is cloud computing?

The term cloud computing originates from utilising rented space on clustered externally owned servers for economies of scale. By users renting unused space from those who needed big servers, everyone benefitted from state of the art server technology that may have otherwise been less quick, less secure, less stable or not as cost effective if dedicated and in-house. Today the term has become more generic, meaning information is echoed and stored via online methods, rather than directly on PCs, mobile devices, or one office server. Safe Screening (safescreening.co.uk) was founded on the Amazon cloud platform, in line with the original principals of cloud computing, to maximise the multitude of benefits associated with this format for customers.

Is nowhere safe from illegal workers?

Is nowhere safe from illegal workers?

Fraserburgh is a sleepy town in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. With a large golf club and a recorded population of around just twelve and a half thousand, it’s hard to imagine there would be police raids and arrests.

However, just recently the UK border force did raid a retail establishment in Fraserburgh, whilst acting on intelligence. Officers arrested 3 men in their 30s and 40s, who after investigation were found to have had no right to work in the UK.

If the business in question which employed these individuals cannot prove they performed sufficient right to work checks, the employer could be fined up to £30,000. This fine represents the sum of up to £10,000 per illegal worker found during the raid.

A Scotland Immigration Enforcement representative was reportedly quoted as saying these arrests send a ‘clear message’, of essentially ‘no hiding place’ for illegal workers or their employers. This enforcement representative then appealed for further intelligence and vigilance from residents.

Anyone wishing to conduct right to work and other pre-employment and on-going employment checks, can visit www.safescreening.co.uk to find out what’s required and to learn about software tools that can help.

Clean slate for ex-offenders causes recruitment concern

Clean slate for ex-offenders causes recruitment concern

As the justice secretary plans to effectively ‘wipe [the] slate clean’ for ex-offenders, employers may start to wonder who exactly they are employing.

The justice secretary’s plans, as reported recently in a leading national newspaper, could have considerable ramifications for employers if they come to fruition. The idea in motion at the moment is to have a time frame for ‘spent convictions’ in a reform to the 1974 Rehabilitation of Offenders Act. The plans change short convictions, such as less than six months, to a spent conviction status after two years rather than the 1974 act seven years. For employers, this means the prospective employee need not declare said conviction all the quicker.

Concerns in comments raised in response to the news on the tabloid’s website included one visitor making reference to the case of a shoplifter who stole bread. The tale was accompanied by a question of whether a leading UK high street grocery supermarket would subsequently employ that offender. Food for thought perhaps, if you excuse the pun!

A change in legislation of this kind could impact further in the future and causes confusion on where an employer who would require a CRB check would stand. Could serious crimes become ‘spent convictions’ one day? Could therefore a convicted paedophile who has spent said conviction potentially regain the right to work in a nursery? Could someone convicted under terrorism laws potentially regain the right to work at an airport? What could the consequences be if they do eventually then reoffend? The article quotes the justice secretary and offers some protection in saying that ‘serious crimes’ will always need to be disclosed. However if the 1974 act is changing, so potentially are the proverbial ‘goal posts’ which define serious crimes.

That aspect aside, the shoplifting comment one article reader made online is an example of a crime not seen as serious potentially in light of other crimes, but still not ideal for an employer placing said ex-offender in a shop environment. The idea of the act reform is to assist the rehabilitation of ex-offenders into society. However the impact could be that placing, say a shoplifter to work in a shop, would achieve the exact opposite. It could force the ex-offender to see the scene of their crime on a daily basis and surely heighten the temptation to reoffend. Not exactly ideal for the employer or indeed new employee.

One aspect of this debate is agreed by all who comment on the article. Jobs are in short supply, so employers are very picky over who they choose for a role and as such want to be in full possession of the facts. Safe Screening can help your business be in full possession of the facts regarding your job applicants. To find out more, visit www.safescreening.co.uk.

 http://safescreening.co.uk/blog/

Even chief executives need vetting

Even chief executives need vetting

It was recently reported that the CEO of a household name internet search engine may have lied on his CV.

Accused of fabricating a degree by a colleague, the CEO in question stepped down siting ‘personal matters’ rather than acknowledging the scandalous discovery surrounding him at the time in the press. It was later reported he may have health issues. His colleague had originally reportedly discovered that the academic institution quoted on the CEO’s CV as awarding the CEO a degree qualification, only began teaching the subject quoted four years after said CEO supposedly graduated.

Whether he lied or not has yet to be proved and may never be known. However, the scandal itself surrounding the accusation has caused the company to be thrown into making a series of changes right at the top of the organisation. This could only cause confusion to those lower in the organisational tree. The scandal too and associated bad press has no doubt impacted upon the brand value of this household name.

It shows no matter what the position you’re recruiting for, pre-employment background checks are the key to avoiding any nasty surprises later in employment, or any associated internal confusion and external bad press. Luckily, cloud software can help quickly and easily conduct background checks on candidates. To find out more, visit www.safescreening.co.uk.

Does more temporary staff mean less pre-employment checks?

Does more temporary staff mean less pre-employment checks?

An American Bureau of Labour and Statistics has reported a rise in contingent labour comparing 2011 with 2010 statistics. Perhaps more worryingly, their report also observes that checks on contingent workers are generally not as thorough as those on permanent members of the team.

Perhaps this could be explained by the frequency in which temporary workers come and go from an organisation. That perhaps their temporary nature seems to indicate to those who employ them, that they don’t need to know as much about them. However that said, if the temporary worker is filling a role that allows them to handle personal information, the damage they could do in that role if not properly checked to the organisation could have large impact repercussions.

In addition to these American based findings, rules surrounding AWR for recruiters operating in the UK now need to be adhered to. Those agencies who do not comply can face heavy fines from the UK government.

As well as falling foul of these laws, any who hire in the UK, via an agency or directly, temporary or permanent, need to prove they’ve checked the right of the individual to work within the UK by law. Failing to do so can mean £10,000 fine per bad hire to any organisation.

So whilst not conducting as many pre-employment background checks on temporary workers as you might on permanent may seem on trend, the smart thing to do is to check all who are employed and fully. To find an easy way to do so, visit www.safescreening.co.uk.

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Should employers, agencies, or employees pay for recruitment checks?

Pre-employment background checks are becomingly increasingly compulsory and complex in many industries. Every UK employer needs to check at least that their candidates have the right to work in the UK. Some industries require more processes in line with current legislation.

It has been recently reported that two blue chip name airlines ask potential employees at the point of job offer to pay for their criminal record check to be conducted themselves.

This has caused controversy with a spokesman for a well-known trade union speaking out their opinion that employers should foot the bill for pre-employment checks. The argument posed centred around those who have been faced with unemployment for an extended period of time, for who this process would potentially present a financial bar to returning to work.

Another airline is currently happy to pay for staff security clearance, for which additional background checks are currently compulsory due to anti-terrorism legislation.

Some employers, it seems, adopt a hybrid approach, like an airport ground handling firm who reportedly initially ask potential employees to foot the bill, offering a refund if then successfully hired.

Whoever pays, the price of a manual process can be costly. Software which can manage the checking process can offer per unit price reductions based on total volume transactions over time. One such supplier is Safe Screening. To find out more, visit www.safescreening.co.uk or email info@safecomputing.co.uk.

Did you earn or buy that degree?

Did you earn or buy that degree?

An ever growing problem for those recruiting, is knowing if certificates candidates present, are real, or fake.

With the global recession it has been widely reported that the number of new job opportunities has declined, whilst the number of people looking for work seems ever increasing. The impact of this means there is currently more demand per role than ever before.

Pressure is therefore placed on candidates to stand out from the crowd, so even the most honest of applicants may decide to enhance their CV by supporting this criminal trend. Fraudulent ‘academic institutions’ have been known to sell degrees which are simply a certificate as a result of a financial transaction only and thus representative of no actual formal training process. As fraudulent as this appears, passing off a simply bought qualification as a tangible representation for an actually studied for one, it is hard for law enforcement officials to stop it. The company behind the certificates sold is not in itself, or it’s company name, pretending to be another institution, so there is no copyright infringement to that aspect of their ‘trade’. As an employer recruiting you may try calling up the ‘institution’ to find out if it exists, thinking that could verify the qualification. The ‘institution’ could well dutifully answer the phone to confirm it does indeed exist as an organisation. This too, is not illegal. This does not however guarantee at all that the candidate has studied for the qualification, it could still have come from a simple vendor only organisation and as such be as worthless as the paper it is printed on in terms of the skills set you, as a recruiter, seek to hire.

As an underground process, it is unregulated and fraught with the usual dangers of dealing with less than reprehensible traders. Some job seekers may pay and not even receive their fake certificate. Certain websites have even set up shopping comparison experience forums, calling themselves a sort of unofficial watchdog, to advise  potential shoppers who are the most and least trustworthy of the available certificate purveyors.

Clearly these organisations seek to mislead employers and with the rising competition for available positions business seems to be booming for them. However they are on the fringe of the law. What these organisations are doing is clearly wrong and is only vaguely legal as their activities don’t yet have enough legislation against their operation to effectively police it. Thus outlawing this activity is only a matter of time. With cross boarder communications via the internet too, this type of e-tailer is even harder for the authorities to stop.

The cost of the wrong hire isn’t just potentially a fine for an illegal worker, or the costs of advertising twice over to hire. It’s the human resources involved in interviewing and training. It could also be potentially the damage limitation involved in the wrong person coming into contact with personal information.

So as someone looking to hire, or place a candidate with a client, how can you safeguard against fake qualifications? The resultant fact for the organisation seeking to hire is it is very difficult to know which qualifications are real and which aren’t.  Post hire it could be several months before the candidate shows the tell-tale signs of knowledge gaps. One software solution can verify qualifications against leading UK academic institutions and automate academic referencing. To find out more about it, visit www.safescreening.co.uk.

How to avoid being ‘named and shamed’ by the government

How to avoid being ‘named and shamed’ by the government

No company likes bad press. Building a brand with a noble reputation takes time, good on-going strategy, whilst it can cost a considerable amount in advertising spend.

It has been reported that from February 2012 the UK Boarder Agency will be naming any employer caught employing workers without the proper paperwork and right to work within the UK. As the current fine, per worker, for any illegal employee found is £10,000, the fines can be hard enough for any company in this tough economic climate. Any negative press associated with a brand could damage sales, the impact financially of which could be considerably more.

Statements issued by the agency will be quite specific, leaving nowhere for those who don’t comply to hide. Specified within these ‘name and shame’ communications, accessible to all, will be a breakdown showing the number or illegal workers found in operation in any one employer. Also the agency will state the amount the offending company has been fined, whilst showing a breakdown by geographical location.

Should that not be damaging enough potentially for your brand, the agency also plan to publish names of those who are tardy in paying their fines, giving a company a grace of just 28 days to pay post appeal.

There is only one sensible operating strategy to save your company from the possibility of these issues, which is to check thoroughly those you employ. Manual processes can be costly, time consuming, which can’t guarantee that your teams won’t be duped by falsified documentation. A solution such as Safe Screening can automate a number of checks against key databases and provide a full audit trail to defend your company against any fines or brand devaluing press. See www.safescreening.co.uk, email info@safecomputing.co.uk, or call 0844 583 2134 to find out more.

So many job applicants, so little time…

So many job applicants, so little time…

Yes, there’s been a global recession. Yes, times for many businesses have been and are still hard. However for those lucky or clever enough to have sailed through these troubled times of our economy, life goes on, business goes from strength to strength, which means more people will be needed going forwards.

One double edged sword for those recruiting and bucking the trend is the surge in applicants fighting over their jobs. Before an employer could have expected for example 50 applications before the recession per advertised role, 10 of which stood head and shoulders above the rest. Those same employers  are now faced with over 200 to process, perhaps 50 of these being of a perfectly adequate standard for the job. How else can you make your shortlist?

What about checking all their claims are true? Time consuming? Safe Screening cloud software can help, automating lots of pre-employment checks. The cloud software gives you a portal on the web which means you can set which questions to ask referees and fully brand the site to your business. By entering some simple contact information, emails containing secure links for respondents are generated and sent. So you can check your job applications swiftly in just a few clicks. The site collects the information for your due diligence and audit trails. For anything that can’t be checked automatically against various leading database sources or via referees, the system will alert you. You can then either manually check this, or ask the Safe Screening team to investigate. If you wanted to, you could even outsource the whole process to the Safe Screening team. Call 0844 583 2134 to find out more.

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