Pre-Employment checks, sometimes referred to as “vetting”, refers to a variety of ways in which employers check up on the background of applicants to minimise risks. The types of checking will depend on the role being applied for but might include identity checks, criminal records checks or even social media checks. If you’re applying for a job and require to be vetted, here’s what you need to know.
Criminal Records Checks
It’s important to be clear that this isn’t the same as a DBS check. DBS checks can only be carried out when the role being applied for demands a check. Employers can’t make decisions about who to check or not. A Criminal Records check in other cases usually asks you to disclose whether or not you have a criminal record. It’s always best to come clean if you have – if you lie and are found out at a later date, then you will more than likely lose your job.
In some occupations, usually involving handling large sums of cash or working in financial services, you’ll be asked for your permission to run a credit check on you. This isn’t the same as credit scoring, and is about weeding out people in financial difficulties who could be tempted into fraud if their situation deteriorates further. You are free to look at your own credit file at any time using one of the many credit checking apps. Whatever your financial situation, it makes sense to keep checking your credit status to ensure your employers are seeing the best picture of you. Debt won’t necessarily prevent employment as long as you’re making regular payments and keeping on top of it.
Employers usually take two references from previous employers, and will either write to them or call them to ask about you. It’s good manners to warn the people you’re asking to act as referees to expect the call or email. There’s a popular myth that it’s illegal to give a bad reference but this is simply not true. It is perfectly legal to state that a person was sacked or was persistently late as long as this is fact and the employer has the proof to back it up. Choose your referees carefully, but always try to include at least one from your current or most recent employer.
Employers will also routinely do internet searches on their applicants. Google your name and see what results are displayed about you. Check your Instagram, Facebook or Twitter pages to see what people who aren’t linked to you can see. If you really would prefer employers not to see pictures of you partying in Ibiza, then remove them. An even worse crime is moaning in public about your current job or boss on social media for everyone to see. Another internet issue to consider is your email address which you are using for sending off job applications. Use something based on your name or location – leave the “SparkleProseccoUnicorn” usernames for use with friends rather than in any professional capacity.