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What background checks should be carried out on C-Level candidates?

C-level executives, or ‘Chief’ executives, make vital business decisions, execute important actions, and oversee the business strategy and direction. Overall, C-level executives play a critical role in ensuring the company remains competitive, resilient and innovative in the ever-evolving corporate landscape.  

Therefore, hiring the wrong candidate for a senior or C-level placement within your organisation could have catastrophic consequences. 

Before your new senior placement begins their new role, it’s important to conduct the necessary background checks to help you make an informed final hiring decision.  

Senior appointments within an organisation require a higher level of checks to be completed, which go beyond a typical screening process used for most candidates. Senior placements are critical appointments for a business, which can either steer the company towards a prosperous future or, potentially send it crashing. Not completing thorough background checks for these roles can expose the company to significant risks.


Some examples of senior appointments include: 

  • Chief Executive Officer  

  • Chief Operations Officer  

  • Chief Commercial Officer 

  • Chief Financial Officer  

  • Managing Director   


Why should I complete background checks on senior placements? 

Whilst completing thorough and comprehensive background checks can be time consuming for an organisation, the benefits far outweigh the negatives, especially when it comes to senior placements. Top-level executives are crucial in not only shaping the business’s future, but its reputation too. Background checks are vital in ensuring your business hires the right candidates for these high-profile roles. 

The vetting process when hiring within the highest level of an organisation allows stakeholders and board members to have confidence in the new hire.

In addition to this, there are many other benefits when it comes to completing background checks on C-level candidates. Top level roles will often have access to a variety of confidential information, and ensuring rigorous checks are completed will support in minimising the risk of a new employee misusing company resources, helping to protect the business legally and financially. 


What background checks should be included? 

Aside from Right to Work checks, and other mandatory checks required by regulated industries, there are several background checks that are key when recruiting top level hires. 

Here are some of the checks that should be considered when hiring a senior placement: 

Criminal record – Criminal record checks (DBS checks) are completed by organisations to highlight any criminal record history a candidate may have prior to an employment offer being made. This helps you to make safer hiring decisions and protect your business's brand and reputation. 

Adverse financial – Completing adverse financial checks is essential when hiring C-level candidates, mainly due to the fact that senior appointments within a company often have access and influence to financial information. The adverse financial check allows you to gain peace of mind by identifying any financial mismanagement, without affecting your candidate’s credit score.

Directorship – Directorship checks allow you to see whether a candidate has been a director of any companies previously, along with uncovering any risks associated with the companies they have previously been appointed to. This allows you to make an informed hiring decision, with the knowledge of previous companies worked for, and any disqualifications or conflicts of interest. 

Sanctions – A sanctions check allows your business to see whether your candidate appears on the UK sanctions list, ultimately protecting your organisation from potential reputational or financial risks. 

References – Employer reference checks are one of the main checks undertaken by organisations, and will quickly verify your candidate's employment history, allowing you to see that they have the relevant experience for the role that they are applying for. 

Education – Education checks allow you to verify your candidate's educational history along with qualifications they claim they hold, helping to reduce your hiring risk whilst giving you confidence in your new hire.  

Social media – With social media being used by so many, a check within this area has become increasingly popular. This check allows an organisation to highlight any red flags and recruit good-fit candidates who align with your organisation's values. However, it is important to use a reputable platform to perform these checks to eliminate subjectivity and human bias.  


How can I conduct these checks? 

With background checking processes being such a time-consuming task for many businesses, how can you conduct background checks on C-Level candidates both thoroughly and efficiently? 

Our experts at VettingGateway understand the difficulties of completing background checks, especially when conducting rigorous and higher-level checks on senior appointments. Our all-in-one software solution eliminates these difficulties. With high levels of automation, VettingGateway can save you huge amounts of time, whilst ensuring that your C-Level hires hold the credentials and qualifications that they say they have, ultimately helping to protect your organisation. 

If you would like to find out more about how VettingGateway can support you with conducting your background checks on C-Level candidates, please book a demo with one of our vetting experts below.  


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