Hiring new employees can be tricky at the best of times. More ex-criminals are in the workforce than ever before. Due to rising crime rates, the number of convicted criminals searching for employment is only going to rise. In some industries hiring individuals charged and sentenced for criminal offences is unwise; such people can be a massive safety risk.
The best way to protect your company, employees, and customers is to take steps to ensure you never hire anybody with a questionable past. One way of ensuring this is by requiring employees to undergo DBS checks prior to onboarding.
This post will tell you everything you need to know about these checks:
Table of Contents
What Are DBS Checks?
DBS checks are criminal background checks performed by the Disclosure and Barring Service. You can use an enhanced DBS check to determine whether a candidate applying for work at your company has ever been convicted of a criminal offence before. Not all businesses perform these checks, however; it is usually only ones in sensitive industries like policing, healthcare, and technology that do. In such industries, criminals can be massive liabilities and even dangerous to clients.
Usually, these checks are paid for by the company requesting them. In some cases, however, job candidates themselves are required to present proof of a clean DBS. DBS checks can be used to look far back into a person’s life and will bring up information about anything they have been convicted for including spent convictions and cautions. Individuals are asked to disclose their criminal histories at the earliest point in the hiring stage. If they choose not to and then fail a DBS check disqualification from the process is the obvious outcome.
Why Are They Useful
To say there are more criminals in the workforce than ever would be an understatement. Rates of crime in the United Kingdom are rising and prisons are overcrowded. While not all offenders should be tarred and feathered some should be. The most dangerous offenders should not be able to work in industries with vulnerable people like the healthcare service for example. In order to determine whether or not a job candidate is such an individual a DBS check is required. Criminals are not known for their honesty so without these checks many would find work and avoid detection.
If a person previously convicted of violent offences were to apply for a job in healthcare, employers would have no way of knowing whether or not they were a criminal without DBS checks. Before they were introduced ex-criminals regularly found work by choosing not to disclose their convictions. DBS checks have made business owners’ lives much easier. There are also lower-level checks you can perform. DBS checks are considered the gold standard however and most business owners choose to perform them even when such checks are not necessary or when a candidate’s convictions are already known about.
Other Checks You Can Perform
Criminal background checks are not the only ones that you need to perform if you want to make sure that your employees have clean criminal records and good character. You can actually hire a private investigator to dig into a candidate’s life. Such checks are perfectly legal. Private investigators can find everything not shown on a DBS checkout about a candidate. Some people live criminal lifestyles but have never been convicted of offences before. You can use private investigators to catch such individuals and exclude them from the hiring process.
In some industries, it is also common to ask people applying for jobs to take drug tests. You can do the same if you want to. Asking candidates to take drug tests will help you to determine whether the people you are hiring are drug users or not. While drug use is not stigmatised as much today as it used to be it is still best to avoid hiring such individuals. As drugs are illegal choosing not to hire somebody who has failed a drug test is not discrimination. You can perfectly legally tell a candidate you do not want to hire them because they failed a drug test.
Asking Employees to Disclose Criminal Records
Not everybody convicted of a criminal offence is dangerous or worth excluding from the hiring process. Some very honest and talented people have made mistakes and been sent to prison or arrested before. If you are open to hiring ex-offenders then encourage people to disclose information about their criminal histories from the start of the hiring process. Individuals who choose to lie and try and hide their offences should be disqualified, however. Such individuals can easily be caught by asking for a DBS check. Make sure to ask all candidates for their aliases or different names they have gone by too.
Hiring new employees can be a good way of expanding your business and achieving growth. At the same time, it can also be very stressful. You can never guarantee whether or not the people you are hiring have good character. You can use a DBS check to get an idea of what a person’s character is like, however.