Why Businesses In The UK Give Importance To Background Checks On Potential Hires

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Background checks are a common practice when hiring employees and for a good reason. Not only are background checks a way for employers to protect themselves from hiring a potential criminal, but they also help in reducing instances of theft, fraud, and other illegal activity. But what are the different types of background checks an employer can perform, and what industries require these forms of checks?

How Can You Perform Background Check In The UK?

Many countries worldwide have their particular versions of a background check, and each will provide different information. When it comes to the UK, these checks are focused on a person’s criminal background rather than anything else. They are conducted by the Disclosure and Barring Service, and there are differing levels of CRB checks that an individual or employer can request. They are broken down into three tiers: Basic, Standard, and Enhanced. The Basic level can be requested by any individual and provide information relating to any unspent convictions. However, the basic option will not disclose any previous convictions that have been spent according to the law. The three levels include:

  • Basic: Shows all unspent convictions and cautions.
  • Standard (only available to employers): Shows all convictions and cautions, spent and unspent.
  • Enhanced (only available to employers): Shows all convictions and cautions, spent and unspent. In addition, it will show all other pertinent information held by the police about the potential employee.

Why Perform A Background Check?

Essentially a background check is a process of examining an individual’s background to assess their suitability for employment. It is usually a requirement for positions involving the handling of sensitive information or access to privileged areas. A background check can tell potential employers a lot about the person being vetted, such as their character and reliability. Employers would avoid hiring people with criminal records and who may not have been truthful about their pasts. 

In Which Industries Is A Background Check Most Necessary?

Although any employer may request a background check on potential employees, some industries require checks by law or general due diligence.

Working With Vulnerable People

Anyone who is applying for a position in the following will require a background check:

  • Schools.
  • Hospitals.
  • Residential care.

Working With Money

Any job that involves working with money is another prime case for conducting a check. This can include the banking sector or even general management positions. For example, a manager working in a fast-food restaurant will deal with large sums of cash. Thus, it is in the owner’s best interest to ensure that they can be trusted.

Working In Critical Infrastructure

Most jobs that require a person working closely with critical infrastructure will likely be necessary to have an enhanced background check performed on them.

Jobs Requiring Trust

Some positions require a large amount of trust but are not necessarily required by law. Jobs such as house cleaners who will be alone in a home will typically have background checks performed to ensure trustworthiness.

A background check can be a helpful tool in an employer’s toolbox to decide whether or not to hire someone. Although a criminal history might not immediately preclude them from getting the job, an employer would be remiss to ignore it completely.

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