Verifying people’s eligibility for work and vetting their background can bloat your onboarding experience to the point where candidates get bored or frustrated and quit. Businesses who don’t provide the kind of seamless onboarding experience that applicants expect could miss out on the best talent, or worse, gift it to their competition.

Here’s a closer look at the challenge of running the right checks versus doing it quickly enough to keep candidates engaged.

Fit and proper

Regulated industries such as financial services have had to work hard to overcome the challenges born from the 2007/8 crash. For example, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) requires that all employees undergo ‘fit and proper’ checks.

Checking a candidate’s legal right to work is unavoidable, no matter what sector you operate in. Each worker you fail to check correctly could cost you up to £20,000 in fines. What’s more, your business details could be published by Immigration Enforcement as an embarrassing warning to others.

It’s understandable, then, that some businesses focus so singularly on making sure they do things above board that they fail to think about how it might introduce friction to their candidate experience.

Research conducted by Gallup found that only 12% of employees strongly agree that their organisation does a great job of onboarding new employees.

But just because a candidate is eligible to work for you, it doesn’t mean they don’t have the potential to harm your business.

The cost of mis-hiring

Pre-employment screening is a great way to help you avoid the consequences of hiring the wrong people, but it can also introduce friction to your onboarding experience if you don’t handle it with care.

Hiring is expensive. Some estimates put the cost of filling each vacancy at £3,000. But mis-hiring can be even more expensive.

The Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) provides training, legal, business and accreditation services to recruiters. It says businesses are failing to hire the right person for every two in five roles.

Its research found 85% of HR decision-makers admit their organisation has made a bad hire and a third believe the mistake costs them nothing. In fact, a poor hire at the middle-management level with an attached salary of £42,000 can cost a business more than £132,000.

Mis-hiring also carries an immeasurable reputational risk, particularly for businesses with customer-facing employees.
Hiring the wrong person and paying the price is arguably worse than deterring good candidates from applying with rigorous pre-employment screening, but ideally you want to avoid both.

Candidate experience

Onboarding speed is key. When you’re competing for the best talent, you need to minimise the risk of candidates disengaging and applying elsewhere. The faster you can make your onboarding experience, the less time they’ll have to drop out.

But speed can’t come at the cost of proper due diligence, so it’s a fine line to walk. Using the right technology can help.

GBG Business Development Manager Reehan Jameel said: “Candidates have high expectations for onboarding, and they don’t necessarily differentiate between the onboarding experience of an employer and, for example, a retailer.

As such, businesses need to take care not to build bloated onboarding experiences that put people off from applying. At the same time, employers need to meet their regulatory requirements or else they risk fines and damage to their reputation. Finding the right balance is a matter of taking a considered approach and using the right tools.”

GBG Know Your People provides fast, auditable online background checks. It can help you give candidates the experience they demand without hampering your ability to screen out bad applicants or meet your regulatory requirements.

What’s more, the platform can help you minimise costs, risk and errors.

To find out more about how our technology can help your business, email