Employment background checks show doubling of failures

The proportion of applicants failing employment background checks has nearly doubled since 2015.

This finding follows research by Core-Asset Verify, a provider of vetting and contract services for Scotland’s financial sector. Based on data from a sample of over 400 checks carried out across 2017 and 2018, the data shows:

  • 19% of applicants failed outright with major issues (2015: 10%)
  • 28% passed, but with some minor issues (2015: 34%)
  • Only 53% of applicants passed with no concerns (2015: 56%)

The top five reasons for outright vetting failures in 2017 and 2018 were:

  • Discrepancies in qualifications relating to an award or grade – 34%
  • Discrepancies in employment dates and/or job titles – 25%
  • Unverifiable employment gaps of over three months – 22%
  • Unpaid County Court Judgements or Sheriff Court Decrees – 14%
  • Non-disclosed criminal convictions – 5%

Mike Stirton, director of Core-Asset Verify, highlighted the concerns for both employers and applicants and said there were two main reasons: “First, employers in general are becoming more stringent… Many companies have recognised the damage that can be done – both financially and reputationally – if they make the wrong hires.

“This is especially the case across financial services, where the introduction of the Senior Managers and Certification Regime has increased the need for more enhanced criminal checks and regulatory referencing.

"Second – and perhaps most concerning – there appears to be growing mindset among applicants that it is acceptable to fabricate certain parts of their CV in order to impress employers and increase their chances of securing a job offer.”

• Have you noticed a rise in background check failures? Let us know below. You can also tweet us to tell us your thoughts or share this story with a friend. Our editorial email is recruiter.editorial@redactive.co.uk

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