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Digital Nomad

The background checks every employer should undertake

Updated: May 30

Background checking your new employees is a standard procedure for almost all industries in the United Kingdom. Vetting your applicants not only ensures that they’re qualified for the position but provides you with a ‘bigger picture’ of who your candidate really is, helping to protect your organisation and its people.  

First introduced in the UK in 2008, The Employment Background Check Act states that it is a legal requirement for employers to conduct background checks on staff before hiring them. These checks can include Criminal Records, employment references, Right to Work and many more. The required checks are dependent on the industry and the job role. For example, if working with Children, an Enhanced DBS check will be required.  

Key background checks  

Applicants will go through a range of checks, some of which are an essential requirement. These can include: 

Criminal Record checks  

A Criminal Record Check (DBS Check) is used to check an individual’s criminal history. There are three different levels of this check; basic, standard and enhanced. Anyone can undergo a basic DBS check, but standard and enhanced checks are specific to certain job roles where more specialised screening is required. This is particularly true if the individual will be working with children or the vulnerable.  Find out more about DBS checks here.  

Right to Work checks  

All employers in the UK are legally required to complete Right to Work Checks, which involves seeing and checking relevant identity documents to validate if your applicant is legally permitted to work in the UK. It is an offence to employ someone who doesn’t have the Right to Work in the UK or those who provide incorrect or fraudulent documents. Right to Work checks can now be completed digitally, eliminating the need to complete face-to-face checks. Instead, technology is used to remotely prove an applicant’s Right to Work status against applicable documents. Find out more about Right to Work and Digital Right to Work checks here

Employer Reference Checks 

Almost all employers will carry out this check to validate an applicant’s employment history and gather information about the employee to ensure they are a good fit for the company. While some employers may seek out a couple of references or ask the applicant to cover the last 3 years, more regulated industries tend to go back further, seeking references that cover the last 5 to 10 years of work history.  

Education Reference Checks 

Education reference checks are used to reduce your hiring risk by checking your candidate's education history and gather qualification certificates, ensuring the individual has been honest about their previous education. 

Identity Checks 

An identity check on your applicant provides you with a score to indicate the degree of confidence in an individual’s identity. It reviews the individual's name, date of birth and address from multiple sources to help confirm the person is who they say they are.  

Social Media Checks 

With more than half of the world’s population on at least one social media platform, Social Media Checks have become prevalent across many industries in recent years.  Completing a social media check ensures you recruit good-fit candidates who align with your organisation’s values, while protecting your company’s reputation by reducing your hiring risk.  By using technology rather than completing these manually, you ensure you remain compliant and eliminate subjectivity as human bias is removed. Find out more about social media checks here

Other checks that might be undertaken 

There are a wide range of other checks that might be carried out due to the nature of the role or regulations of the industry the individual will be working in. These may include:  

Adverse Financial Checks 

An adverse financial check assesses your candidate’s financial background by identifying any adverse credit or financial mismanagement, without impacting your candidate’s score. This ensures you gain peace of mind when hiring in finance-related roles by understanding whether your applicant has a history of economic vulnerability.  

DVLA Checks 

If your candidate is required to drive a vehicle in their role, you will want to check if they are legally allowed to drive, as well as if they have any points on their licence.  

General Security Awareness Test (GSAT) 

A GSAT is required for those who are applying for an airside ID pass. It educates the applicant about the security risks within the airport environment and what preventative measures can be put in place to ensure the safety of staff and passengers. 

Sanctions Check 

If an applicant is being hired in a high-risk environment you may want to complete a sanctions check. The search includes individuals known or suspected to be affiliated with terrorism, money laundering, fraud, drug trafficking, arms dealing, war crimes, white collar fraud or other illegal activities, as well as Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs).    

Directorship Check 

Completing a directorship check will help you find out if a new hire has previously been a director of a company or if they have ever been disqualified from becoming a director.  

Streamline your background checks with VettingGateway  

Completing background checks can be a lengthy and complicated process, but VettingGateway was built to speed up and simplify your background checking process. By using one platform to streamline all your background checks you can speed up your time-to-hire and reduce complexity. VettingGateway offers all the checks mentioned above in a simple, easy-to-use online platform. 

If you would like to find out more about VettingGateway, please book a demo with a team member below.  


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