The Top 5 Most Commonly Requested Types of Background Check in UK

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UK Employers will usually conduct background checks on applicants before hiring them. This is because they want to make sure that the person they hire is qualified for a given job and won't be a liability in the future.

employment background checks uk
Employment background checks uk

In our Annual Report (Guidance for Hiring, Background Checking & Onboarding in 2022), we've collected data from over 100,000 background checks, across 40+ screening categories for companies & professionals around the world, and summarised results across 6 countries & 5 key industries. We’ve found out that the most commonly requested background checks in UK are:

  1. Employment Check 
  2. National ID Check
  3. Academic Achievement Check
  4. Criminal Record Check
  5. Global Sanctions Check
background check england
Background check england

Let’s dive deep into each of these checks.

1. Employment Check in UK

Employment history record checks are a common practice for UK employers. They are used to find out about the candidate's past work duration, job title, and experience and to see if the person is suitable for a given position.

In addition, there is also an applicant's character reference check to gauge softer skills. This is done by contacting someone who knows the applicant well, such as an old boss or coworker, and asking them about their work ethic, dependability, etc.

background check companies uk
Background check companies uk

Job seekers are often asked to provide a list of references during the hiring process. Employers typically call these references for a reference check in order to find out more about the applicant. A reference check is a way for employers to make sure that an applicant is competent and worthy of being hired.

Employers are looking for specific information during a reference check and the common questions are:

  • How long have they known the applicant? 
  • What was their relationship with them? 
  • Did they work with them? Did they supervise them? 
  • What can they say about their work ethic, skills, and personality?

2. National ID Check in UK

In the digital age, stealing someone's identity is as easy as a few clicks. With the rise of social media and online shopping, it is becoming more and more difficult for companies to verify that their applicants are who they say they are.

This is where a National ID Check comes in handy. This check will let companies verify if an individual is who they say they are. This process will not only save time on verifying applicants' information but will also make it easier for companies to combat identity theft by making it harder for someone to impersonate an individual.

background check uk
Background check uk

A National ID Check would be beneficial because it would allow companies to verify applicant identities without having to go through a long and drawn out process of searching through databases of information. This check will usually involve verifying personal information, checking and comparing documents, and confirming that all information provided matches.

3. Academic Achievement Check in UK

An academic achievement check is a verification process that validates the authenticity of a candidate's education. Some UK companies use an academic history check to verify the credentials of their potential employees. 

An academic history check is a comprehensive check of a person's educational background. It is an important part of the pre-employment screening process because it can help employers understand the education and qualifications of a candidate. It also helps employers to eliminate candidates who misrepresent their qualifications by falsifying their education or work history.

background checking services uk
Background checking services uk

Academic achievement checks are also known as academic history checks, education verification or credential checks. The process of an academic history check involves examining the educational and professional records of the candidate to ensure that they are authentic and accurate.

The education verification process is usually conducted by employers before hiring in order to determine whether or not they have the necessary qualifications for the position in question.

4. Criminal Record Check in UK

The number of crimes committed in the UK is rising. The number of crimes committed in London alone is on a steady rise each year. Crime rates in the UK are influenced by a number of socio-economic factors. The most prominent of these factors is unemployment. With the increasing number of crimes, the need to conduct criminal background checks for employment is becoming more important.

A criminal record check is a search of an individual’s criminal records. It is important to conduct a criminal record check when hiring someone for employment. These checks can be used for any position in the company, from management positions to part-time jobs. 

criminal background check uk
Criminal background check uk

Criminal records checks are important because they can reveal past convictions, arrests and even outstanding warrants. 

Employers should always conduct criminal background checks before hiring new employees. It is important to know if an employee has been convicted of a crime in the past, as this could affect their performance at work and with other employees. When conducting a criminal background check, you should always make sure that the applicant is aware of your intention to do so.

5. Global Sanctions Check in UK

A global sanctions check is a process in which an employer or potential employer runs a background check on an individual across multiple jurisdictions. 

A global sanctions check helps to confirm whether a candidate is mentioned on sanctions watchlists - making compliance with regulations like Anti-Money Laundering act and the Patriot Act even easier than before.

background checks on employees uk
Background checks on employees uk

The need for a global sanctions check has risen due to the increase in international travel and business opportunities across multiple country locations. The process of conducting a global sanctions check has become more important as it protects companies from being penalized by the government for breaking international law.

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What background check do I need?

This depends on the industry and type of role you are recruiting for. To determine whether you need reference checks, identity checks, bankruptcy checks, civil background checks, credit checks for employment or any of the other background checks we offer, chat to our team of dedicated account managers.

Why should employers check the background of potential employees?

Many industries have compliance-related employment check requirements. And even if your industry doesn’t, remember that your staff have access to assets and data that must be protected. When you employ a new staff member you need to be certain that they have the best interests of your business at heart. Carrying out comprehensive background checking helps mitigate risk and ensures a safer hiring decision.

How long do background checks take?

Again, this depends on the type of checks you need. Simple identity checks can be carried out in as little as a few hours but a worldwide criminal background check for instance might take several weeks. A simple pre-employment check package takes around a week. Our account managers are specialists and can provide detailed information into which checks you need and how long they will take.

Can you do a background check online?

All Veremark checks are carried out online and digitally. This eliminates the need to collect, store and manage paper documents and information making the process faster, more efficient and ensures complete safety of candidate data and documents.

What are the benefits of a background check?

In a competitive marketplace, making the right hiring decisions is key to the success of your company. Employment background checks enables you to understand more about your candidates before making crucial decisions which can have either beneficial or catastrophic effects on your business.

What does a background check show?

Background checks not only provide useful insights into a candidate’s work history, skills and education, but they can also offer richer detail into someone’s personality and character traits. This gives you a huge advantage when considering who to hire. Background checking also ensures that candidates are legally allowed to carry out certain roles, failed criminal and credit checks could prevent them from working with vulnerable people or in a financial function.

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Request a discovery session with one of our background screening experts today.

State of Hiring and Background Checks Discrepancies

Veremark’s 2022 Annual Report is based on the background check data collected from over 100,000 checks from companies and professionals across 6 countries and 5 key industries last year.

This report focuses on the state of hiring and background check discrepancies and is an essential guide to all recruiters and HR professionals conducting hires, background checks and onboarding in 2022.

In this report, we discuss:  

  • What areas and factors can Background Checks discover?  
  • Where did the findings come from by country and sector?
  • Discrepancies by top 5 sectors
    • Fintech and Financial Services      
    • HR, Staffing and Recruiting      
    • Technology and Software      
    • Professional Services      
    • Business Process Outsourcing (BPO)
  • Discrepancies by top 6 countries
    • Estonia      
    • Singapore      
    • United Kingdom      
    • Australia & New Zealand      
    • India      
    • Philippines
Get your own copy!