Before Hiring A New Team Member, Make These Essential Checks

Wednesday, April 19, 2017


Hiring a new team member can be a nerve-wracking time as the pressure to choose the right person for the job is on. But it isn’t just finding the person who will get on with their teammates the best; you also have to make sure they are who they say they are, and that hiring them is not putting your company at any undue risk. 

Check Their References and Qualifications
When someone applies to work for your company, it is commonplace for them to include their qualifications on their application. While many employers take this as given, more specialised roles sometimes request to see proof of these qualifications. This could be in the form of photocopied documentation, or even the original certificates. While it is not common, there are people out there who lie about their experience in order to get a role they otherwise wouldn’t be qualified. The same goes for their references - many employers don’t contact referees for information about prospective staff. Their previous employers are the best people to tell you about their work ethic, timekeeping, and any other information which might be of interest - not accessing that treasure trove of information seems ridiculous.

Confirm Their Right to Work
As employers, we have a right to check that our staff are legally allowed to work in the UK. If you fail to confirm this, you could be at risk of a hefty fine. A British passport is the easiest check, but if they don’t have that, documentation confirming the person’s UK Indefinite Leave To Remain or their work visa is essential. Don’t just hope for the best: check every single member of staff who walks through your door.

Carry Out Background Checks
Depending on the nature of the job, you may request that a potential new employee has a background check carried out. Disclosure Barring Scotland, or DBS, will pull up any criminal convictions and, if one is relevant to your life of work, you can refuse to employ them on this basis. People who work with children or vulnerable adults are required by law to have this background check carried out.

Ask About Any Health Problems
A health check cannot be discriminatory - for example, you can’t refuse to hire someone on the basis that they are disabled - but a health check for a new employee does allow you to understand if they will require any additional help. A questionnaire is usually all it takes to ascertain people’s health and family history, but some employers feel it necessary to follow this up with a medical checkup. Some jobs, including labouring or driving, are not suitable for people with certain ailments, so it’s essential that employers in these fields ask the relevant questions. It also enables employers to monitor the diversity of their applicants. 

Carrying out background and health checks, as well as getting information on people’s right to work in the UK and their employment history is essential for covering your back as an employer, as well as ensuring you get the best employee for the job.

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