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Background Screening & Hiring from Home


2020 has been a whirlwind of a year seeing many of our ‘normal’ business procedures change dramatically and this had to happen quickly, without planning and in many cases without a policy to follow.

With the majority of office staff now working from home and hiring taking place over a video call, have background checks that firms carry out been enhanced to cover the new risks?

There are many ways to increase security levels for new staff joining the business and to also make sure that current employees are keeping to the standards set out by the business.

Below are three main areas where screening checks can be used to enhance security; giving the brand, employees and customers further protection.


· Online Analysis (Social Profile Report); social media check, this check is an unbiased approach to check the online behaviour of a candidate; their posted content and the reach that content has is all assessed to see if any behaviour patterns emerge. The check uses basic candidate information along with industry specific searches (job title, employer) to create a report based on its findings. The report keeps protected characteristics & unnecessary information hidden, therefore making it an objective and balanced search. Online searches done ‘in house’ by a potential employer can cause discrimination. For example, the employer cannot ‘un see’ certain information, potentially causing bias which they may not even be aware of.


The check searches across social media platforms, professional networking sites, mobile only apps, blogs, vlogs, outdated sites etc. All sites which are available in the public domain.


We feel this check is extremely important as more time is being spent online in 2020, by everyone!


· Right to Work Document Evaluation; This electronic verification checks the security features of the right to work document which has been submitted by the candidate. With right to work checks being undertaken via video call (currently allowed, following Government advice - https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-right-to-work-checks) this check adds a layer of security at a time when the employer may not physically see the document. For example, it inverts the image to look for tampering of the data, it will check the signature and the hologram on the document and it will run MRZ checks on the data within the document (the MRZ number is the long number which contains digits, letters and chevrons at the bottom of the passport, which varies per country. The algorithm checks this).


· Identity Check; Again, as checks are being carried out via video call and some new employees are not being met in person before they start, this check can verify that the information given by the candidate for other checks (such as adverse credit or criminal records) is correct. This helps to ensure that that the other checks carried out would have produced a valid search. The verification uses basic candidate information and runs against credit agencies, telephone lists, electoral roll data etc. to bring back a positive or negative result.


If a candidate has moved recently it usually takes around 7 weeks after they have registered at the address for the various agencies to have been updated. In these cases, an additional proof of address can be obtained or a recheck can be scheduled.


All checks that are carried out would require explicit consent from the candidate first which the background screener would obtain.


If you have any questions on these checks, any other background checks, rescreening implementation or current projects please email; info@mj-consulting.co.uk

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