Bespoke Screening

Latest News and views from Secure Screening Services...

How to lose Candidates... fast

How to lose Candidates... fast

Posted on Wednesday, January 30, 2019 by Martin Price

So, you screen your people, great news! You are on your way to safeguarding both your organisation and current workforce. Whether you only complete employment referencing and a criminal record check, or you employ a whole range of background checks as part of your employee vetting, there’s whole lot more to consider….

When was the last time that you reviewed the candidate experience during the screening process? When was the last time you reviewed your processes and checked that they were fit for purpose? The screening company you choose will significantly reflect on how your new employees view your organisation. Candidate experience is everything and is something that is often overlook and rarely reviewed. Your candidate does not want to spend two days of their lives filling out forms and collating data prior to being employed to do the role. So, ask yourself the question; would you put your family in economy when you could seat them in business class for the same cost?

What do you look for when choosing a screening partner? Do you simply look for the cheapest price or stick with the same company that you’ve always used even though the service levels are questionable and getting through to someone when you need to seems an impossible task?

Sometimes changing a supplier seems like too big of a task, but we all know it’s not. A small amount of time invested in looking at the options is often time and money saved in the long run. Finding a provider that can react to an instant starter or provide extra support to a candidate throughout the process is invaluable.

Outdated practises

There are several outdated practices being used within the screening industry. Why would you pay a screening company to sign up to their portal or commit to several checks that you might not want to use just because there is a minimum usage clause. When you go to the shop you don’t pay to enter before you buy. You only pay for what you want. These practices are outdated and not working for the consumer.

So, ask yourself the following questions;

  • Do we think about the candidate experience foremost?
  • Are you suffering poor customer service?
  • Do I screen to the right levels for the right roles?
  • Is my current supplier responsive, competent and convenient?

At Secure Screening Services the candidate experience is key and is central to everything we do. So, if you think you could be doing more to improve your candidate experience, or you could just simply improve what you currently do then we can help.

With candidates being shrewder than ever when choosing who to work for, organisations need to do more to safeguard their reputations. With the increase in company review sites such as Glassdoor it has never been easier for the candidate to find out how your business treats its employees. Make sure that you are doing everything right to set the tone of your organisation from the first point of contact. The screening process is a huge part of onboarding, let us help you to get that right.

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I didn't pay attention!

I didn't pay attention!

Posted on Thursday, October 11, 2018 by Martin Price

There are many reasons why the smart thing to do is to screen the people we employ.

There are many areas of legislation which say that you must check certain details before employing someone… I will come onto that. There is also the matter of employing someone that could do vast damage to your brand or reputation.

Here are the reasons why screening is the smart thing to do;

What the Law says

Ok so, the Rights to Work Check isn’t a new thing and has been enforceable in its current form since May 2014. Every employee needs to have been through a check, no matter where they were born. Signing an ID document and placing it in a recruitment file does not provide you a ‘statutory excuse’. There are many nuances to the Rights to Work Check; for example, did you know that if you employed a Romanian worker and didn’t supply the rear of their national identity card, which is blank by the way, this is non-compliant and a breach of the Rights to Work check! There is a £20,000 fine per person if you get it wrong!

What if people you employ drive during their working day? There’s nothing unusual about that but as the employer have you checked that they have a valid driving licence to do so? Yes, that’s right you must check. A physical look at the licence isn’t enough. There are a couple of bits of legislation that might catch you out should the worst happen, and your employee be involved in an incident on the road in which the law has been broken. The Road Traffic Act 1988 says that a person is guilty of an offence if they allow, cause or permit the person to drive. This means if your employee is guilty of an offence, you are also guilty of allowing, causing or permitting that offence. If that isn’t terrifying enough this is also covered under the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007. Fines for this one are unlimited. You must check that your employee has a driving licence which is in date, allows the person to drive the classification of vehicle required and lets you know if they have any points.

Protecting your brand

We hear horror stories all the time around the damage employees can do to businesses. Only this week a lady was found guilty of defrauding her employer of £16,000 by crediting her own accounts through a hotel where she was employed. She had previous for fraud…

We all work every day to enhance our brand and reputation. You cannot afford to let this be damaged by someone acting recklessly or carelessly with your business when reputation is everything. It wasn’t that long ago massive damage was caused to two, well-known, large charity organisations, whereby the disgraceful behaviour of some of the volunteers and employees had a huge cost to the organisations reputation and consequently literally cost them, in millions of pounds in donations and funding.

So, here’s the big question…Can screening of your staff eradicate this risk totally? Well in truth screening alone will not totally guarantee these types of things won’t happen, but it can dramatically reduce the risk. If organisations have a robust screening process coupled with working practices that allow regular oversight and/or a strong audit process this risk can be managed out.

Why vett employees

Well if the above isn’t enough to convince you that it’s the smart thing to do then did you know that (and the figures widely vary) from 40-70% of people are not honest on their CV? Who Knew! It might be as little as changing a pass to a merit on a qualification, or it could be a total fabrication of the truth from start to finish. Gone are the days when we went with our gut. Maybe as a business owner its what you’ve always done, but what if its someone else’s instincts that you are trusting in your organisation? Why leave this to chance? You only have to be wrong once. It’s all about minimising risk and preventing problems down the line. Recruitment can be expensive and that’s why you need to make sure you get the right person first time.

Why Vett Employees

Why would you not. Why would you not protect against government fines. Why would you not protect against insider threat. Why would you not make sure you’re getting the right person to fit into your team. Why would you not make sure that the candidate was suitable for your industry and qualified. Why would you not show due diligence and protect your organisational reputation. Why would you leave all this to chance? It doesn’t make good business sense in fact it doesn’t make sense at all.

So don’t be that company that says we thought of doing that, but we weren’t too sure how, or we didn’t know where to look or we didn’t know we had to. Fines don’t care that you were trying to do the right thing but didn’t get it quite right.

Secure Screening Services can take all this pain away. We can provide you with the solutions to the problems you face getting employment screening right. We help companies make sure that they have the right level of screening for their industry/business. We can give you a free screening consultation to make sure you are fully covered. If you are inspected by the CQC we can make sure that your screening meets their robust standards or if you are a charity we can keep you compliant with the new Charity Commission guidelines around the screening of your people.

Screening doesn’t need to take a huge amount of time or be prohibitively expensive, but it doesn’t make any sense to take the risk

Thanks for paying attention….. I hope it was worth paying attention.

If you are interested in our services or would simply like to find out a little bit more information about why you should screen your people then please get in contact with us by calling us on 01243 767868 or dropping us an email to

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Rights to Work. What Everyone?

Rights to Work. What Everyone?

Posted on Tuesday, July 10, 2018 by Martin Price

Firstly, with Rights to work checks we must look at what the law says.

Under section 15 of the 2006 Act, an employer may be liable for a civil penalty if they employ someone who does not have the right to undertake the work in question.[1]

The civil penalty can be up to £20000 per illegal worker.

Well that’s quite a big number but that would pale into insignificance compared to the possible criminal conviction carrying a prison sentence of up to five years. The list of following sanctions goes on…

Valid Documents

A valid document will fall into one of the following categories.

  • Passport
  • Biometric Residence Permit
  • National Identity Card
  • Full Birth Certificate
  • Certificate of Naturalisation
  • Passport with valid Visa inside

If your employing someone no matter what their origin, as an employer you must make sure that the person you are employing has the right to work. The good news is that it’s easy to protect yourself. We can verify the documents for you. The regulations state that the employer must have physical possession of the ID document and retain a copy. How do you know that the document you’ve been handed is genuine?

We can check the document is legitimate prior to the candidate presenting this to you. Uploaded documents can be biometrically checked affording you the protection against prosecution and confirming they are the real deal.

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Open Source... Can you afford not to?

Open Source... Can you afford not to?

Posted on Monday, July 02, 2018 by Martin Price

With the implementation of GDPR in May 2018, there has been some consideration around the use of open source research in pre-employment screening. Is it justifiable? Is it useful, or even necessary? Is it legal? The answer to all these questions is an emphatic ‘Yes’, and here’s why you should consider integrating it into your on-boarding process.

Know More about your employees

Open source research allows you to know more about who you are employing and act as an early warning system for preventable risks associated with their employment. Your recruitment process will have tested and established the candidate’s ability, however, there are benefits to having a more holistic view of them. Consider the diversity of your current employees, your stakeholders and your customers; and now consider how valuable that diversity is to your success. Employing someone who harbours hateful views based on religion, gender, race or other inappropriate factor could have serious implications for your business. The harm that could be done to your customer relationships, or the internal issues that may ensue through the harassment or bullying of colleagues shows why it is necessary to know who you are employing. This becomes more prevalent if your company requires employees to drive, use machinery or undertake high-risk tasks, or perhaps you trust them to interface with vulnerable people or have access to expensive company assets. In these cases, open source research can give you peace of mind that your new employee isn’t a habitual user of controlled drugs, or dishonest, and won’t abuse any positions of trust bestowed upon them. With all this in mind, the question around open source research is no longer ‘can you justify doing it’? but more pertinently ‘can you justify not doing it’?

The above elements, and their associated risks, gives you a legitimate interest in conducting open source research for new or existing employees, and this a specified lawful basis under Article 6 GDPR. At Secure Screening Services, we are committed to using highly trained experts to undertake this work, providing a professional and transparent service to safeguard your business, your employees and your customers. Part of this process is an educational package for employees to protect themselves and their social media accounts from future risk.

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Which DBS check?

Which DBS check?

Posted on Saturday, June 30, 2018 by Martin Price

So, there are essentially three levels of DBS check. Not everyone has access to each one and it depends on what the person checked will be doing in their employment or if they are involved in certain professions as to which one will be right for you, more on that to follow.

Basic Check

Ok so the first check is a Basic check. This is available to all employers. It will give you details of any past convictions. The basic check does not expire. The Basic DBS for businesses to ensure that individuals are not placed into an inappropriate environment.

Standard Check

The second check is the Standard check. This covers more aspects of criminal history. As well non-spent convictions included in the Basic check this covers police cautions, and reprimands. This check is used for the health care, financial, educational and legal professions amongst some others.

Enhanced Check

The Enhanced DBS check covers the information in the previous two checks plus any relevant held intelligence. This check is specifically used for people working with children and vulnerable adults. The ‘barred list’ is a record of people who are banned for working with these groups of people and can be checked also.

There is a caveat to this where some convictions do become spent under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.

A conviction of 4 years and over is never spent. A sentence from 30 months to 4 years for an adult takes 7 years to be purged. A sentence less than 6 months will take 2 years to be removed. The ‘barred list’ is there to prevent any persons slipping through the net whereas before some offences would be purged.

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Accredited Employment Screening