7 Great Background Checking Tools for Employees

Scott Thompson is the recruitment news of the week. If you’ve been living on a desert island for the last week, here’s the story: Thompson was hired as the new Yahoo CEO in January 2012. Controversy erupted this month as it was revealed that he may have embellished his CV with a degree in computer science – a degree that his University wasn’t offering at the time he supposedly earned it.

However, the search firm were not willing to fall on their swords for Thompson. According to the Wall Street Journal, they wrote to Yahoo with evidence that his claim was “verifiably not true”. On May 13th, Yahoo released a statement that Thompson was leaving the company.When confronted, Thompson plead innocence and claimed he was unaware that this degree appeared on his CV at all. How did it get there then? He allegedly blamed a junior employee at executive search firm Heidrick and Struggles for adding it over 8 years ago.

This is every recruiter’s nightmare. Although H&S may not have added the erroneous degree, they still come under undesirably scrutiny by association. The Yahoo committee responsible for approving his hire are also suffering for the oversight – in fact, the chairman and four other directors are on the way out the door with Thompson.

Now more than ever, clients are looking for protection against CV fraudsters; yet legal anxiety often stands in the way of them performing their own background checks. The ability to take that pressure off a client can provide a compelling selling point for a recruitment agency.

Exhausting your internal resources to make it happen isn’t necessary though – there are a vast number of third parties who offer to take on candidate vetting on your behalf. We’ve collected some of these resources here to give you a place to start looking*:

Candidate Verifier
Owned by world-renown Experian, Candidate Verifier offers financial reports, educational qualification checks, professional membership verification, and full reference checks.

Mii Card
Described by the New York Times as being “like an online passport or driving license, proving your identity”, this service allows candidates to verify that the information provided during their banking security check matches their CV.

Sterling InfoSystems
Sterling provides background screening services to an international market, including criminal record checks, ID verification, employment checks, and educational verification.

UK-based company BackCheck claim to have a “consistent, auditable process” that offers “results within 3 to 5 business days”. They check employment gaps, references, credentials, educational history, DVLA records, criminal records, and right to work documentation.

Hire Right
Hire Right are five-time winners of the MarketTools ACE Awards, and winners of HR Executive’s 2008 Top HR Product Award. They’re US based, but serve the UK and the rest of Europe from offices in London and Brighton.

In addition to the standard record checks, Credence state that they offer directorship verification, a check against the HM treasury financial sanctions list, FSA checks, occupational health assessment, and press/online media screening.

Complete Background Screening
Established in 2004, CBS lists Epson, the British Heart Foundation, Volvo, and Channel 4 amongst their clients. They offer general background checks, ISA vetting, employment screening, international criminal record checks, and DVLA reports.

*Note that Firefish is not affiliated with any of the resources listed and can’t vouch for the services provided, but they do all claim to serve a UK market. If you’re looking for US based resources, the Wall Street Journal reviewed four options here.

Photo by Yodel Anecdotal.
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Ailsa Partridge

Ailsa is a technical writer and solutions engineer working at Instructure in London.

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