What are cultural barriers in Background Screening across the globe?

Background screening cultural barriers.

Background screening cultural barriers. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the expansion in wireless connectivity between personal and working communities around the globe; however, this has not come without the trials in upholding an operational and compliant employment background screening program in the globalisation of the digital workforce. Background Screening plays a significant role in reducing bad hires by ensuring that your candidates are qualified to do the job they have applied for. This is important in safeguarding the reputation of an organisation and the nature of how commerce is conducted.

CRI® Group surveyed to gauge the state of human resources in which it was revealed that the COVID-19 pandemic is raising fears of fraud and the protection of sensitive and confidential data since the implementation of virtual in work-from-home (WFH) arrangements.

It was estimated that roughly 88 per cent of the surveyed admitted that the pandemic is indeed having an impact on the way their HR operations are being carried out, while 65 per cent are considering new ways to hold on to employees during the crisis outside of government schemes, i.e., the furlough scheme in the UK. Alarmingly, a staggering 54 per cent of the surveyed admitted to not screening their employees for criminal, media, employment history perspectives before any work-from-home arrangement as they would have done if they were being asked to work from the office despite being these employees having access to sensitive information.

Before COVID-19, it was found that an estimate of 85% of organisations testified to conducting background screening of some type. On the same note, a vast 92 per cent stated that they trust their employees with confidential data but without the assistance of a background screening measure. Background screening is vital to organisations of all types and industries as it can assist in authenticating your employees track record and help avoid a bad hire.

Find out other ways COVID has impacted the hiring process or download our brochure.

Are background screening checks essential?

Background checks are essentially an inquiry into an employee’s/candidate’s character inside and outside their vocations. At CRI® Group, we offer a complete, in-depth background screening service for candidates and employees at all levels across the globe. Working with different cultures in different geographies raises background screening challenges that should be considered when conducting a thorough background check – to be able to conduct business successfully in a geographic location that you are unfamiliar with, it is crucial to consider these aspects to be able to integrate your organisations into the locality seamlessly; these are particularly important if you are considering a partnership with oversea organisations. 

CRI® is certified by British Standard Institute BSI for the scope of BS 7858:2019 Screening of individuals working in a secure environment, Code of practice and BS 102000:2018 Code of practice for investigative services. The BSI is the only BS 7858 accredited background screening services provider in the UAE and across the Middle East. Find out more about the BS 7858:2019 below or download the free playbook.

The Different Challenges of Background Screening Across the Globe

Regulatory policies

  • The guidelines for background screening checks differ from country to country, with personal privacy and data protection being a universally passionate debate. The laws in the United States, for example, are not the same as those that impact investigations in the Middle East and the Middle East policies vary from the European ones. International Background Screening necessitates compliance with personal data protection regulations across regions where it is conducted. Background screening in the US typically must conform with the Fair Credit Reporting Act to conduct domestic background investigations. In the case of Europe, its GDPR effectively fell into force in 2018.

If you need more information on establishing GDPR procedures in your organisation, read our guide on maintaining GDPR compliance.

  • Other investigations outside of the West are considered far more complex. Middle Eastern countries have no prohibitive legislation governing employment screening or employee due diligence. This means that the process largely relies on consent from the applicants. Background screening industry professionals in the Middle East must follow strict data protection requirements (such as the GDPR, local Data Protection regimes, DIFC Data Protection, ADGM Data Protection and QFC Data Protection regulations) to process consensually based on personal data information. In contrast, Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Data Protection standards allow for processing sensitive personal information, including criminal history, with signed consent from the data question for operative due to diligence necessities. Read more about compliance with privacy laws in the UAE. With this in mind, it is important to bear regulatory policies in mind and do further research on them when conducting these checks overseas.

Find out more about CRI® Group’s compliance solutions below or contact us to get a free quote.

Local Practices

  • Much like the regulatory policies, obtaining background screening data differs from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The Middle East, for example, have background investigators journey to remote destinations to conduct interviews, find and use other resources and enlist local assistance to verify the information. Leading background screening firms often conduct investigations that regularly involve a thorough review of local press records and online and proprietary databases to locate the appropriate public records. This is not a requirement in the US as the data is digitised and available in official sources. In South Africa, on the other hand, such a procedure would require the candidate’s fingerprints due to the digital gap. Investigators would have to go through the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC) in Australia.

Technology gap

  • As mentioned before, the same technology is not available in all countries across the globe. The technology gap is an additional task that can impact the effectiveness of a comprehensive background screening check. The technology gap is an echo of local practices and regulatory policies; this solidifies the notion that auditors must adapt to meet the organisation’s needs centred on the resources they have available to them. It is a good idea to collaborate with a screening firm in the designated country that an organisation wishes to hire to make sure that no policies are being broken nor any obstacles, such as the technology gap, hinder the HR process.

Political Differences

  • Political differences and solidarities should be considered during a screening as it means that the officials and authorities of the country may have different priorities than the organisation’s country of habitation. The cultural barrier index shows Africa and Middle East regions having unrest due to political instability as a significant challenge. Africa, for example, principally concentrate on preserving law and order leading to organisational processes such as verification being of lesser priority to them. In geographies where the socio-economic conditions are worse than the organisation’s abode, there will certainly influence the turnaround time, which is why it is mandatory to implement the correct procedures in place – especially if you would like your organisation to reap larger benefits of outsourcing.

Time differences and regional natural disasters

  • This reason is not as easily recognised but is just as important for successfully performing background screening checks. The climate is known to fluctuate from one geography to another, which means that some regions are more prone to natural disasters. Some natural disasters such as earthquakes or typhoons in certain regions might impact the speed of conducting a background screening. Another important aspect to consider is the time difference and the difference in working days. The working week differs across regions, some dependent on societal expectations and others on religious understanding – this is more than likely to impact the turnaround time of completing a background check. While the working week in Europe is usually considered to be Monday to Friday, the offices in UAE shut their doors earlier, with the weekend starting on Fridays and the 5-day working week beginning on Sunday. As the UAE is a predominantly Muslim country, Fridays are typically a shorter day in the working week for devout observations such as Jumu’ah (Friday) prayers.

Local Festivities

  • Replies from employees, employers, education institutions and even government officials may slow down during Christmas in the Western world, Ramadan in the Middle East region, or Lunar New Year in Asia. It is an effective strategy to bear the national holidays in mind when hiring or screening your candidates, and it prevents any further delays than what has already occurred.

Social behaviour

  • Social behaviour can vary from one district to another within the same land, so any visitor, individual or corporation is anticipated to acknowledge the cultural norms and social behaviour of the country they are visiting and to respect it as a measure of good practice. In some areas, what could be considered normal practice might be disrespectful or offensive in others. For this reason, the cultural index was established. The cultural index is a directory that notes the different cultural barriers and their impact on various regions; it is typically measured on a scale of 1, known as “not a challenge” to 5, which is “highly challenging”. Social behaviour was rated as three across countries in APAC and the Middle East as was rated as two across other regions. Again, establishing a local team will ensure a seamless process due to their awareness of how to conduct HR processes.

Language

  • Failure to read or the inability to translate documents required for any step of any HR procedure would increase the turnaround time for completing the background screening process. Europe is typically challenged in this aspect as it is a continent that is representative of several diverse official languages, and a background screening service that is not adaptable nor accommodating to several languages could lead to a language barrier, thus resulting in delays and data inaccuracy. Based on this, CRI® Group has implemented a ‘boots on the ground strategy and employs local experts in remote areas in the world, who are equipped with technical skills and local knowledge and understand the cultural subtleties to help set the tone at the top.

Next steps, Locating Reputable Screening Firms

It is crucial that your organisation works hand in hand with a reputable screening firm to ensure the screening process is effective in the organisation’s homeland and overseas – this will aid in minimising most if not all of the cultural barriers we have discussed thus far. Most firms who work with partners overseas are likely to adapt to your organisation’s work culture fast enough as they are used to the concept of outsourcing and malleability. The best way to go about locating a reputable screening firm in the country of your choice is by following the steps below:

  1. Research home and overseas background screening firms supplied by the Professional Background Screening Association https://thepbsa.org/.
  2. Research the local and regional laws beforehand and ask your firm how they conform to local and regional laws governing individual privacy and data protection.
  3. Screening firms are also capable of outsourcing their cases to a third party. Avoid this by ensuring that the firm’s physical address is in the region in which you’re looking to conduct investigations.
  4. Know how your chosen firm investigates and conducts background screening; it is best to steer clear of firms that investigate exclusively through media searches. This provides very little personal information on the candidate.
  5. Auditors in your chosen firm should comply with GDPR and maintain Information Security Management System ISMS (ISO27001). This is important for data management and protection laws. It is best to avoid those with no (international) standards implemented.
  6. Evade firms that specialise in checks of the International Terrorist Watch List and the OFAC watch list; these lists are available online at no cost to the general public.
  7. Ask your firm how old the data collected is, and steer clear of firms that won’t supply you with the source of the records they have acquired.
  8. Background checks must involve investigative research and not just press clippings. Make certain that your firm will merge in-depth field investigations with routine public records searches as part of its process.
  9. Service delivery is essential in foreign investigations, so it is best to look into average turnaround times and get commitments from your chosen firm for delivery in advance.
  10. Ask for references as you would from your potential employees.

 

Like any aspect of corporate conduct, background screening has its challenges, but that is not to say that they are impossible to deal with. By default, proper planning, research, and local knowledge can help your organisation navigate the cultural barriers to successfully run services overseas. The more you invest in sourcing morally correct corporate conduct, the more you can expect to be rewarded with a catalytic action to grow and expand your organisation.

Let’s Talk!

Don’t leave hiring to chance. Take a proactive stance with the highest level of background screening as a part of your essential corporate strategy. Contact us today to learn more about our full range of services to help your organisation stay protected.

GET A FREE QUOTE

About us

Based in London, CRI® Group works with companies across the Americas, Europe, Africa, Middle East and Asia-Pacific as a one-stop international Risk ManagementEmployee Background ScreeningBusiness IntelligenceDue DiligenceCompliance Solutions and other professional Investigative Research solutions provider. We have the largest proprietary network of background screening analysts and investigators across the Middle East and Asia. Our global presence ensures that no matter how international your operations are, we have the network needed to provide you with all you need, wherever you happen to be. CRI® Group also holds BS102000:2013 and BS7858:2019 Certifications is an HRO certified provider and partner with Oracle.

In 2016, CRI® Group launched the Anti-Bribery Anti-Corruption (ABAC®) Center of Excellence – an independent certification body established for ISO 37001:2016 Anti-Bribery Management SystemsISO 37301 Compliance Management Systems and ISO 31000:2018 Risk Management, providing training and certification. ABAC® operates through its global network of certified ethics and compliance professionals, qualified auditors and other certified professionals. As a result, CRI® Group’s global team of certified fraud examiners work as a discreet white-labelled supplier to some of the world’s largest organisations. Contact ABAC® for more on ISO Certification and training.

Meet the CEO

Zafar I. Anjum is Group Chief Executive Officer of CRI® Group (www.crigroup.com), a global supplier of investigative, forensic accounting, business due to diligence and employee background screening services for some of the world’s leading business organisations. Headquartered in London (with a significant presence throughout the region) and licensed by the Dubai International Financial Centre-DIFC, the Qatar Financial Center – QFC, and the Abu Dhabi Global Market-ADGM, CRI® Group safeguard businesses by establishing the legal compliance, financial viability, and integrity levels of outside partners, suppliers and customers seeking to affiliate with your business. CRI® Group maintains offices in UAE, Pakistan, Qatar, Singapore, Malaysia, Brazil, China, the USA, and the United Kingdom.

Contact CRI® Group to learn more about its 3PRM-Certified™ third-party risk management strategy program and discover an effective and proactive approach to mitigating the risks associated with corruption, bribery, financial crimes and other dangerous risks posed by third-party partnerships.

CONTACT INFORMATION

Zafar Anjum, MSc, MS, CFE, CII, MICA, Int. Dip. (Fin. Crime) | CRI® Group Chief Executive Officer

37th Floor, 1 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London, E14 5AA United Kingdom

t: +44 207 8681415 | m: +44 7588 454959 | e: zanjum@crigroup.com

 

Managing HR through COVID-19 in 4 simple steps

Managing HR through COVID-19

Managing HR through COVID-19, here are the four simple steps. COVID-19 continues to affect communities on every continent. This global crisis called for fresh due diligence and risk management review of the company’s third-party partnerships; it has disrupted business and entire industries as we know it; a fraud spike in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic has consequently led to an increase in identity theft cases; for many HR professionals, employee screening during COVID-19 has become complicated, with its many new ways COVID-19 impacted background checks enhancing why critical background Screening has become. This pandemic has made managing HR more difficult than ever.

While we must take vigorous action to control the spread of the coronavirus and save lives, we must also act to protect our livelihoods. The steps you need to take now relate to four categories: Review, Communicate, Update and Travel. These checklists provide chief human resources officers (CHROs) and other HR professionals with practical ideas for keeping employees safe while maintaining productivity and charting recovery paths. And then, the following will form a good starting point.

The four simple steps in managing HR through COVID-19

1. REVIEW

  • Review business continuity plans and how these would be maintained if employees suffer from coronavirus absences.
  • Review existing sickness policies and procedures, are they disseminated to staff? Do they need amending? 
  • Review contracts of employment. It may be relevant to establish whether individuals can be asked to undertake different work or at other locations or at various times from the norm. 
  • Review your emergency procedures, e.g., if there is an infection and the workplace is closed temporarily. If appropriate, carry out a test run of emergency communication to see how robust the process is. 
  • Ensure contact details for all staff are up to date. 
  • Undertake risk analysis of high-risk groups of employees and what steps can be taken to try and reduce risks for those groups. These groups may include: 1) those who frequently travel to countries where there is currently or may well be a risk of infection. 2) those with health issues, such as asthma, diabetes, cancer, or those who are pregnant, are more likely to suffer adversely if they become infected with the virus. 
  • Review procedures in the office for preventing the spread of the virus, e.g., increased cleaning, availability of hand sanitisers and tissues etc. 
  • Review planning for the possibility of large-scale absenteeism. For example: 
  • Identify the essential positions within the business, what needs to carry on during an emergency, and what is the minimum number of employees required?
  • Identifying employees with transferable skills so that these essential positions can always be temporarily filled. 
  • Considering flexible work patterns, such as employees working from home.
  • Identify employees who have the necessary IT infrastructure to work from home (e.g., remote access to the office computer systems). 

2. COMMUNICATE

  • Identify an appropriate person as spokesperson/ communicator of updates on policies etc., with appropriate credibility.
  • What, if anything, is said about absence from work for reasons other than ill-health, e.g., where an office is closed?
  • Assuming the employer has a health and safety committee, have there been any discussions with that committee about COVID-19 and its potential impact? If there is no such committee, the employer may want to consider setting one up. 
  • Communicate as a matter of urgency with the high-risk groups identified in any risk review to ensure they are aware of their high-risk status and the measures taken to assist. 
  • Ensure managers are aware of the relevant workplace policies. 
  • Consider issuing guidance to employees on recognising when a person is infected with the coronavirus. What are the symptoms, and what should one do if one is taken ill at home or work? It is also important to emphasise that individuals may not recognise that they have the virus and may not be exhibiting symptoms. Employees should be informed of the reporting procedure within their employer if they have a potential infection and any official reporting process. 
  • Provide advice to encourage individuals to take responsibility for their health and safety and slow the virus’s spread. For example, advice on handwashing and sanitiser gels, coupled with a willingness to self-identify where individuals may have encountered individuals with the virus, have become infected themselves or have returned from private travel abroad to an area that turns out to be affected by the virus.
  • Make clear that where staff are ill, they must not come to work regardless, i.e. “Struggle through”.

3. TRAVEL

  • Log employee travel before it is booked and check against the latest travel protocols. 
  • Ensure staff know that this applies to personal travel and business travel. 
  • Encourage staff to tell you if close family members with whom they share a house are travelling to infected areas. 
  • Replace face-to-face meetings (especially those involving travel) with video conferences, telephone conferences, etc. 
  • Consult/communicate about whether to encourage varied work patterns to avoid travelling on public transport at rush hour. 

4. UPDATE 

  • Initiate a system to keep up-to-date, especially given the spread of infection. 
  • Consider establishing a committee on the employer’s side to coordinate responses and engage with any staff consultative forum, with particular responsibility for staying up-to-date with public health updates. 
  • How will employers communicate regular updates on the coronavirus and its spread to employees? As news develops, it is vital for an employer to be issuing fact-based updates to avoid the possibility of fear being used by worried employees to make decisions about whether or not to come to work, whether to travel abroad, etc. 
  • Who will have the authority to determine changes to policy and issue any new communications to staff?

Employsmart™: Background checks during COVID-19 and more

As a background screening provider, CRI® Group can support you by proactively monitoring the data sources and working with them to understand when and how to carry out verification requests. By working with a background screening partner, we can tailor your screening needs to the challenging times we’re facing. EmploySmart™ is CRI® Group’s robust pre-employment background screening service that helps companies of any size and industry avoid negligent hiring liabilities. We know you have lots of questions. We compiled a FAQ ebook, read now or download your FREE ebook.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s imperative to ensure a safe work environment for all of your employees. EmploySmart™ can be tailored to meet the requirements of each specific position within your company. As a leading worldwide provider of specialised local and international employment background screening, CRI® Group’s services are second-to-none in providing risk mitigation and peace of mind in the hiring process.

Learn more about how EmploySmart™ can help your company stay protected during these strange and uncertain times. Contact CRI® Group today.

Want to know the most crucial factors in the hiring process? 

Download our “Top 10 things every organisation should know about background checks” infographic. Get answers to frequently asked questions about background checks/screening cost, guidelines, check references etc. This eBook of compiled list of background screening related questions taken is the perfect primer for any HR professional, business leader and company looking to avoid employee background screening risks. It provides the tools and knowledge needed to make the right decisions. 

READ MORE

Who is CRI® Group?

Based in London, CRI® Group works with companies across the Americas, Europe, Africa, Middle East and Asia-Pacific as a one-stop international Risk ManagementEmployee Background ScreeningBusiness IntelligenceDue DiligenceCompliance Solutions and other professional Investigative Research solutions provider.

We have the largest proprietary network of background screening analysts and investigators across the Middle East and Asia. Our global presence ensures that no matter how international your operations are, we have the network needed to provide you with all you need, wherever you happen to be. CRI® Group also holds BS 102000:2013 and BS 7858:2012 Certifications, is an HRO certified provider and partner with Oracle.

In 2016, CRI® Group launched the Anti-Bribery Anti-Corruption (ABAC®) Center of Excellence – an independent certification body that provides education and certification services for individuals and organisations on a wide range of disciplines and ISO standards, including ISO 31000:2018 Risk Management- GuidelinesISO 37000:2021 Governance of OrganisationsISO 37002:2021 Whistleblowing Management System, ISO 37301:2021 (formerly ISO 19600) Compliance Management systemAnti-Money Laundering (AML) and ISO 37001:2016 Anti-Bribery Management Systems.

 

Employee Screening During COVID-19: Doesn’t have to be complicated

Employee Screening During COVID-19 made simple

Employee Screening During COVID-19. Unsurprisingly, the virus has had a massive impact on businesses, and the recruitment industry is certainly not immune to that. Companies adapted quickly to survive, and the legacy of COVID-19 may forever change the nature of recruitment and the workplace landscape. CRI® Group’s survey revealed that 77 per cent of HR professionals accept that there is a risk that employees can initiate fraudulent activity because of the work-from-home arrangement. The rise in recruitment fraud is creating several challenges – last year, it cost £23 Billion just in the UK. The COVID-19 is set to cost even more. And what is particularly worrying for any HR professional is that fraud in recruitment regularly sees genuine businesses used to add legitimacy to illegal behaviour. 

Background checks and necessary screenings are vital to avoid horror stories and taboo tales that occur within HR, your business or even your brand – simply investing insufficient screening can save you time, money and heartbreak. COVID-19 is adding even more complexity and new challenges to your job:

  1. Money mule scammers specialise in hacking employer accounts at job recruitment Websites like Monster.com and other popular employment search services. Armed with the employer accounts, the crooks are free to search through millions of resumes and reach out to people who are in fragile situations due to COVID-19.
  2. According to jobs site Glassdoor, the virus has sparked new demand for professions related to infectious diseases, which has recorded a more than doubling of job postings with keywords related to coronavirus this month, particularly within the government, healthcare, and biotech and pharmaceuticals.

 

The recruiters that weather the COVID-19 storm will be those that adapt as the situation unfolds. Outsourcing your background screening is smart and effective. CRI® Employee Background Checks can reduce the risk of hiring someone who could cause irrevocable damage. Firms spend years, thousands, even millions to brand their products and services and one bad hire can cause loss of capital and reputation to the extent that may bring a business to fail. A robust pre-employment check can help you and your company:

  • Reduce turnover & training costs
  • Gain a competitive edge through the hiring of better people
  • Increase productivity – help your employees be more productive knowing that everyone employed by your company has been screened
  • Set your company apart & win more business
  • Reduce employee-related problems
  • Protect company reputation/brand & customer relations
  • Comply with mandates created by state or federal law for certain industries
  • Increase retention
  • Reduce negligent hiring claims
  • Avoid violence in the workplace (threats of violence & actual violence)
  • Reduce theft & espionage
  • Avoid lawsuits & the costs associated with the defence
  • Avoid loss of goodwill

GET A FREE QUOTE NOW!

BS 7858:2019 Standard: A new way to mitigate employee risk during COVID-19

BS 7858:2019 Standard is the revised standard for screening individuals working in secure environments. The far-reaching impact of the COVID-19 outbreak has affected virtually every business and economic sector worldwide. Depending on the global region, the far-reaching implications have hampered (on various levels) the ability to conduct proper and thorough background screening investigations.

In the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates, the countrywide lockdowns forced leaders to close sites and send their workforce home. Many must learn how to manage people working from home (WFH) or remotely for the first time. The previous concerns about productivity, privacy and protecting sensitive information only grew more with the practice of WFH.

They highlighted the vital importance of pre-employment background screening and background investigations. BS 7858:2019 Standard for screening individuals working in secure environments offers a complete solution.

Unfortunately, conducting such investigations in a reliable and timely manner has brought its struggles. The closure of public information sources has dramatically impacted accessing public records to verify previous employment, education and criminal charges.

Drug screening tests have been delayed or postponed until such companies are permitted to reopen their doors for business. On the applicant side, it’s been widely reported that individuals are concerned (and rightly so) about participating in face-to-face interviews. Applicants are concerned with leaving their homes to do a drug test and returning to a work environment that may or may not appear healthy, protected and safe.

Want to know the most crucial factors in the hiring process? 

Download our “Top 10 things every organisation should know about background checks” infographic. Get answers to frequently asked questions about background checks or screening cost, guidelines, check references etc. This eBook of compiled list of background screening related questions taken is the perfect primer for any HR professional, business leader and company looking to avoid employee background screening risks. It provides the tools and knowledge needed to make the right decisions. 

READ MORE

Learn more about how EmploySmart™ can help your company stay protected during these strange and uncertain times. Contact CRI® Group today.

Who is CRI® Group?

Based in London, CRI® Group works with companies across the Americas, Europe, Africa, Middle East and Asia-Pacific as a one-stop international Risk ManagementEmployee Background ScreeningBusiness IntelligenceDue DiligenceCompliance Solutions and other professional Investigative Research solutions provider.

We have the largest proprietary network of background screening analysts and investigators across the Middle East and Asia. Our global presence ensures that no matter how international your operations are, we have the network needed to provide you with all you need, wherever you happen to be. CRI® Group also holds BS 102000:2013 and BS 7858:2012 Certifications, is an HRO certified provider and partner with Oracle.

In 2016, CRI® Group launched the Anti-Bribery Anti-Corruption (ABAC®) Center of Excellence – an independent certification body that provides education and certification services for individuals and organisations on a wide range of disciplines and ISO standards, including ISO 31000:2018 Risk Management- GuidelinesISO 37000:2021 Governance of OrganisationsISO 37002:2021 Whistleblowing Management System, ISO 37301:2021 (formerly ISO 19600) Compliance Management systemAnti-Money Laundering (AML) and ISO 37001:2016 Anti-Bribery Management Systems.

 

The consequences of neglecting background screening

Neglecting Background Screening

Neglecting background screening? What are the consequences that may affect your organisation when you ignore this process when hiring? What is it about Background Screening? Statistics have revealed to us that a substantial quantity of resumes that are presented to HR during the recruitment process comprised fabricated material; shortlisting is a rigorous assortment procedure intended to put your applicant on trial, but if you are interviewing an individual who has fabricated much of their resume, how can you make a good judge of character? Put, executing a pre-employment check is the best way to go about combatting this issue.

Before COVID-19, it was found that an estimate of 85% of organisations testified to conducting background screening of some type. On the same note, a vast 92 per cent stated that they trust their employees with confidential data but without the assistance of a background screening measure. Background screening is vital to organisations of all types and industries as it can assist in authenticating that your employees’ record of accomplishment and help avoid a bad hire.

Find out other ways COVID has impacted the hiring process or download our Background Screening brochure.

Below, CRI® Group has compiled a list of 5 risks you are running into when failing to conduct a background screening check before employment.

1. Your prospective member of staff could be a felon

Hiring a candidate with a criminal record could taint your company’s reputation, generate a highly volatile atmosphere in your office, and harm other staff members. An employer has the right to investigate an applicants’ criminal past; however, the only way to genuinely acquire the data surrounding an applicant’s criminal past when they intend on masking the evidence is through a criminal background check. A professional background verification service is a must to communicate with the local authorities to acquire legitimate illegal data and make a well-informed decision for the benefit of your organisation.

2. The odds of employing an unqualified candidate devoid of background screening is 1 out of 6

1 out of every 6 candidates carry inflated or falsified documents to persuade you into offering them the position – and this can be accredited to the rise of credential mills and fake corporations; applicants commonly use counterfeit degrees and false employment records to get hired, and it takes more than just a phone call to find out the reality. Background service providers use various procedures to obtain legitimate data, inclusive of private trips to the university/corporations where applicants allege to have graduated from or worked. Applicants with falsified resumes are not simply deficient in both integrity and honesty – in most cases, they are also not competent enough to fit your job description. A straightforward background verification uncovers this deception and prevents you from hiring an unqualified candidate.

3. Endangering the welfare of other members of the task force

In correspondence to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA),9% of approximately 22.4 million unlawful drug users are employed either full time or part-time. A substance abuser, aside from grappling with efficiency, will also inhibit the performance of their co-worker with their improper demeanour. Employees with a record of drug abuse and misconduct are also deemed to be exceedingly inconsistent and present themselves as a danger to their co-workers; workplace violence and delinquency can be attributed to disregarding employee drug tests and criminal checks – checks that avert such calamities making your office peaceful and an improved place to work.

4. Increased abrasion can also be attributed to improper background screening

Pre-employment screening underlines the notion of quality over quantity. It makes sure that you hire the right candidate from a mass of applicants who applied for the position as employees with unsatisfactory credentials habitually find their way into your organisation through fabricated evidence. However, the good news is that they never last for long, owing to their shortage of output and failure to handle the work delegated to them.  Hiring model candidates with an admirable mindset and relevant qualifications can mitigate employee turnover and enhance the general outcome of your organisation.

5. A candidates social media presence and global database can help nail down an accurate judge of character

Social media platforms in conjunction with international databases, for instance, criminal watch lists, credit archives, and public litigation archives can expose your candidates’ positive and negative characteristics that may escape you during the interview and selection process. Abandoning these checks will hinder you as an employer from seeing your candidate’s best or worst side when picking among leading applicants who contend for a critical position. Employers who operate social media checks on their candidates have found it simpler to identify their candidates better, as social media is where the candidates are more apt to demonstrate their temperament and talents. The process for operating social media and archive checks can be burdensome, but rest assured that pre-employment screening providers are devoted to passing thorough checks on social media platforms and hundreds of databases to assist employers worldwide make critical hiring judgments.

The Verdict?

Background screening has achieved immense recognition throughout the world over the previous few years as it should do – its impact and the modern setting assist in diminishing the pressures that jeopardise every employer’s aim to enhance their personnel and work environment. Verification should be a compulsory component of an organisation’s onboarding procedure to alleviate all the risks we have discussed thus far. Notwithstanding the apparent advantages that background screening presents, it likewise confirms that your organisation hires the most excellent contenders who would promise continual triumph.

CRI® is certified by British Standard Institute BSI for the scope of BS 7858:2019 screening of individuals working in a secure environment, Code of practice and BS 102000:2018 Code of practice for the provision of investigative services. The BSI is the only BS 7858 accredited background screening services provider in the UAE and the Middle East. Find out more about the BS 7858:2019 or download our BS7858:2019 free playbook.

The more you invest in sourcing morally correct corporate conduct, the more you can expect to be rewarded with a catalytic action to grow and expand your organisation.

Let’s Talk!

Don’t leave hiring to chance. Take a proactive stance with the highest level of background screening as a part of your essential corporate strategy. Contact us today to learn more about our full range of services to help your organisation stay protected.

GET A FREE QUOTE

 

CRI® to attend PBSA Mid-Year Legislative & Regulatory Conference 2022

Corporate Research and Investigations Limited (CRI® Group) is delighted to unveil our place at the 2022 PBSA Mid-Year Legislative & Regulatory Conference in Virginia, USA.

The PBSA Mid-Year Legislative & Regulatory Conference is convened each year in the spring with a large emphasis on law, legislature, training, and compliance associated topics in correlation to the background screening industry. This specific conference offers insight and support for everyone across a range of industries at all levels in the operative hierarchy. Every attendee is guaranteed to leave this conference equipped with significant data and resources to advance them in their individual corporate objectives. It is standard for the Exhibition Hall to be packed with industry affiliates and experts showcasing their goods and services and is an excellent prospect for you to educate yourself about the most recent industry manufactured goods and services that can be used to enrich your organisations stance on conducting background screening.

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Who are the PBSA?

The Professional Background Screening Association (PBSA) is an association that originated in 2003 as a means of progressing brilliance in the screening vocation through encouraging the use of background screening companies when conducting checks on the likes of employees and occupants and presently platforms the abilities of more than 900 member firms around the globe; they diverge from Fortune 100 corporations to smaller, regional organisations that perform masses of employment and tenant background checks each year as a portion of the hiring and leasing process. The PBSA does this by determining and supporting the maximum degree of integrity and execution standards for the experts in this profession.

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What is a background check?

A background check is data which is recorded on a single individual which is brought about at the point of evaluation when verifying their suitability for a role or board. Proprietors ascertain what elements to incorporate in the background check – this is generally built on the trade, location, or housing unit. These elements may include facets such as criminal history data, public records, motorist data, employment records, scholastic information, license authentication, credit information and reference checks. Background checks may also include drug testing, a physical, and even psychological evaluations or assessments. To decide which elements may be included in a background check, candidates are urged to discuss matters with their prospective managers and property administrators.

CRI® is certified by British Standard Institute BSI for the scope of BS 7858:2019 Screening of individuals working in a secure environment, Code of practice and BS 102000:2018 Code of practice for the provision of investigative services. The BSI is the only BS 7858 accredited background screening services provider in the UAE and across the Middle East. Find out more about the BS 7858:2019 below or download the free playbook.

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Why conduct background checks?

Background checks are completed for numerous occasions – this is comprehensive of compliance with accommodation, certification as well as employment rules and regulations. Additionally, background checks can be used to diminish workplace hostility, fraud, larceny, and theft; organisations have an obligation to safeguard their personnel, customers, and the community by directing their efforts to completing their due diligence and accordingly completing a background check on candidates to alleviate perils in homes and workplaces.

The pros of using a specialist third-party service to oversee background checks are countless. All-inclusive background checks are best performed by industry experts who understand where to find and confirm employee data vacillating from criminal, education and employment history records checks to verification of credentials, training, certifications, and other important info claimed by the employee or candidate.

Proprietors tend to employ background checks as a means of generating educated employment decisions by mitigating the risk in selecting the wrong candidate by preserving highly competent candidates for roles in their organisation and thereby reducing their employee turnover rate. These are just a few of the advantages of conducting a background check. Find out more about the significance of conducting a background check below or download the free brochure.

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It is an honour for us to be a part of a conference that extends to and facilitates so many organisations across the globe; more information on the event will be released soon so keep your eye out for our updates! We hope to see you there.

About CRI® Group

Corporate Research and Investigations Limited, or CRI® Group for short, has been safeguarding businesses from fraudbribery and corruption since 1990. Globally, we are a leading Compliance and Risk Management company licensed and incorporated entity of the Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC) and Qatar Financial Center (QFC). CRI® protects businesses by establishing the legal compliance, financial viability, and integrity levels of outside partners, suppliers and customers seeking to affiliate with your business. Based in London, United Kingdom, CRI® is a global company with experts and resources located in key regional marketplaces across the Asia Pacific, South Asia, the Middle East, North Africa, Europe, North and South America. Our global team can support your organisation anywhere in the world.

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What is BS7858 Standard? And why it is important?

What is BS7858 Standard?

The British Standards Institution (BSI) has recently revised the British Standard for Security Screening of Security Personnel (BS7858:2004). The new code of practice BS7858:2019 came into effect at the end of September 2020, substituting the revoked BS7858:2012 revised standard, which was rescinded on the 31st  March 2020. The BS7858 standard has become progressively more crucial when it comes to the protection of individuals, goods & services, estate, and personal data. The BS7858 safeguards such elements by guaranteeing that the veracity of the person authorised to access such sensitive data is certified and retains as such.

There is a lot of misrepresentation circulating regarding the changes to BS7858 Standard which CRI Group, as the only company in the Middle East and Asian region with an implemented BS 7858:2019 standard and BS 102000:2018 code of practice for investigative services and ISO27001 (Information Security Management System) certification, want to help clean up.

Why is the standard so important? 

It is no secret that confidence is key when it comes to the mass of decision ruling. Instilling confidence in its personnel is critical for all organisations and their triumph, particularly when said personnel oversees susceptible individuals, valuable resources or data protection. Organisations have to be able to guarantee that their security personnel have been subordinate to the best meticulous screening process. This ensures pleased clients, as well as pleased personnel as the foundation to a fortunate and reliable organisation, begins from within. The BS7585 aids organisations to avoid scandals such as:

The revised BS7858 has been made clear that the responsibility and accountability for the security and effectiveness of the vetting process rest with the organisation itself and leading management. The BS7858:2019 connects with the move we have seen worldwide to corporate social responsibility and compliance and follows that trend. Other occurrences of the movement consist of instances such as the GDPR (April 2016) and the FCA (Dec 2020) which both expect leading management to be practical in their approach to compliance.

As a significant volume of data requires authentication in a screening process, several organisations may find executing an employee screening and vetting process to be highly complex. Additionally, the degree of evaluation of the applicant’s provisional data must be carried out effectively as well as promptly and include specific checks, such as credit checks or checks against the Financial Services Register.

BSI brought the BS7858 Standard to 2021 with the inclusion of:

Right to Work checks in line with Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) identity requirements:

In antithesis to common acceptance, the BS7858-compliant vetting checks do not need to include DBS checks. This is due to the fact that the Security Industry Authority (SIA) oversees these criminal record checks as part of an individual’s registration process. Nevertheless, they do continue to be a measure of best practice, and the revised Standard firmly contends in its favour. See 7.3.2 (c) and 7.7. (j) in the 7858 Standard. Organisations can also refer to the SIA’s ‘Get Licensed’ handbook which asserts that when an operative is in connection with children or susceptible adults, the Standard or an alternate heightened degree of admission should be deemed essential.

Global watchlist checks during the application process

7.4 (c) of the BS7858 Standard comprises the compulsory requirement to examine a variety of international watchlists, sanctions and fraud databases. Hitherto to this, the Standard simply asked the examining of the HMG sanctions list.

Social media checks as an advised best practice for pre-and post-employment

Personnel social media posts could generate problems for organisations that are operational in protected and regulated conditions; BSI has updated the BS7858 Standard to consider this matter. The BS7858:2019 Standard urges organisations to complete social media screening pre and post-employment.

Searching for supplementary data utilizing best practice social media and additional open-source internet checks can support your organisation with superior perceptions and decrease your employee risk.

For extra assistance on social media and further knowledge on the perils of social media within your organisation, please see our article and free playbook on “Risks of Cybercrime & Social Media“. A complete Guide on How to Protect Your Organisation and Team!

Other significant changes of the BS7858 Standard:

  • Removal of character references
  • Approval to passing on pre-employment screening records from vocation to vocation.
  • Conditional Offer: Formerly, there were two steps an employer was obliged to follow before making an offer of conditional employment; fulfilling the stipulated preliminary checks and adequately fulfilling limited screening on the subject. The new standard initiated the third element on top of the other two conditions – to commence a risk review and confirm that “the degree of risk in the envisioned employment has been evaluated and is deemed to be acceptable and documented” and consequently, the organisation is happy to extend the offer based on their evaluation and the candidate’s risk profile.
  • Preservation of candidates’ background screening records during their employment. Ineffective applicants records can be retained for 12 months while for ex-employees, particular records can be kept for an additional seven years after the employment ended.
  • All groups involved in carrying out BS7858 vetting should be prepared for envisioned obligations.

It is clear to see that the BS7858 standard is crucial for employment in not only the security region but each region of employment; pre-employment screening expending the updated BS7858 standards promises that each member of the public, from manual labourers to office workers, can maintain life in a safe environment.

If the new standard still feels a little daunting to you, why not consider booking a free 30-minute consultation with one of our experts here at CRI Group? Our specialists have years of experience and are qualified to offer your organisation personalised guidance to fit your professional requirements. Don’t hesitate, get in touch today and stay ahead of the vetting rules and regulations.

Get in Touch

Author bio

Zafar I. Anjum, is Group CEO of CRI Group (www.crigroup.com), a global supplier of investigative, forensic accounting, integrity due diligence and employee background screening services for some of the world’s leading business organisations. Headquartered in London, with offices in UAE, Pakistan, Qatar, Singapore, Malaysia, Brazil, China and USA, CRI is licensed by the Dubai International Financial Centre-DIFC, the Qatar Financial Center-QFC, and the Abu Dhabi Global Market-ADGM.

Contact Details

Zafar Anjum, MSc, MS, LLM, CFE, CII, MABI, MICA, Int. Dip. (Fin. Crime), Int. Dip. (GRC)
CRI Group Chief Executive Officer
37th Floor, 1 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London, E14 5AA, United Kingdom
t: +44 207 8681415 | m: +44 7588 454959 | e: zanjum@crigroup.com

 

 

How to Identify and Prevent Employee Fraud?

In 2017 the major European ABB conglomerate admitted that an employee took advantage of serious management failings to disappear with $103 million of the firm’s cash. According to CNN business, ABB CEO Ulrich Spiesshofer and Chief Financial Officer Eric Elzvik admitted that the organisations managers had failed to maintain sufficient segregation of duties in the treasury unit of its subsidiary in South Korea and did not provide enough oversight of local treasury activities.

To top it all off, ABB also failed to keep the signature seals of the South Korean unit secure which as a result, has lead the company became “bound to unauthorised financial contracts, resulting in undetected financial obligations.” 

Organisations rely on the honesty and integrity of their employees, however employee fraud does unfortunately cost companies vast sums of money. Employee fraud is a reality across all sectors – no matter how credible a job applicant is and how stringent your hiring process is – your business is at risk.

Tips on Identifying and Preventing Employee Fraud

When you trust your employees, it is difficult to think the worst of them, even when there are red flags – circumstances or patterns that are out of the ordinary – alerting you to the contrary. If you have suspicions of employee fraud, it is recommended to hire a forensic accountant to help you detect fraud, understand your circumstances, and put together evidence to target and confront the employee without tipping them off.

The good news is that you can plan and train your team to prevent this from taking place; the best thing you can do for your business is to learn how to recognise the warning signs of employee fraud and have robust procedures in place to minimise the risks and opportunities for fraud. Employee fraud covers a wide range of fraudulent activities in the workplace and can vary in seriousness including embezzlement.

Embezzlement involves an employee who transfers company funds into their bank account. One example of an act of embezzlement is deliberately writing cheques in the employees’ name or diverting company assets without authorisation, e.g. customers unknowingly pay into an employee-controlled bank account, not the business’. This is serious fraudulent behaviour, but employees usually get away with it without raising any suspicion by creating non-existent suppliers and fake employees or using counterfeit credit notes to hide/disguise misappropriated monies.

An easy way to spot this type of financial fraud is to scour through the bank statements and financial records of your organisation and check for irregular activities or patterns of unusual and unauthorised transactions.

Another common sign of embezzlement is when either an employee or a manager/director begins to enjoy a lavish lifestyle that is obviously beyond their means, e.g. holidays, cars, clothes/jewellery. In the case that you suspect an employee or director might be embezzling funds from within your company, it is essential to be discreet in your employee fraud investigation to prevent the employee from covering their tracks and disposing of substantial evidence.

Other Common Types of Employee Fraud

  • Commission fraud – inflating sales figures to gain a more significant commission than deserved.
  • Petty fraud – for example, embellishing an expense claim or taking office supplies.
  • Money laundering – hiding the origin of illegally obtained money and washing it through your business.
  • Insider Trading – making a profit by using valuable information that is unavailable to the public to their advantage, for example, confidential information that could impact the prices of shares, securities, goods/commodities.
  • Manipulation of accounts – false information on sales, purchases or stock can be used to perpetrate fraud for personal financial gain, e.g. overstated trading profits to receive cash/share bonuses, or get a promotion, creating false trading accounts or stock/fixed asset write-offs to obtain goods.

What can you do (as an employer) to minimise employee fraud?

The most effective way to minimise employee fraud as an employer is to implement robust management procedures and employee background screening; the implementation of these preventative measures will ensure staff are adequately investigated and monitored and consider the possibilities for collusion between employees – including a conflict of interest. Paying attention to only the procedures within your accounts department is not sufficient. The same procedures can help you across your operations, including sales and procurement.

Minimise the chances of employee fraud with the following procedures:

  • Separation of employee responsibilities such as placing orders, recording invoices and collecting debts.
  • Requiring purchase or payment authorisation by more than one person.
  • Compare actual to budgeted expenditure for unexpected patterns.
  • Examine bank reconciliations thoroughly.
  • Scrutinise cancelled cheques and cheques made out to employees or unusual vendors.
  • Review supplier invoices for significant amounts, pricing or volumes.
  • Verify credit notes and write-offs with receiving records.
  • Install and monitor CCTV to deter theft of stock or equipment.

Fraud Triangle

An American criminologist, Donald R Cressey, devised a theory that involved three aspects that trigger fraud. Understanding these triggers will help you prevent fraud:

  • Opportunity – the lack of internal controls or reporting structure/oversight increase the chance of fraud.
  • Rationalisation – the fraudster will rationalise the continued deception, which increases slowly, perhaps over a few years, becoming an entitlement, i.e. I deserve this. This offers the chance to stop some employee fraud early if robust detection procedures are in place.
  • Pressure – overwhelming pressure, be it business factors such as company targets to meet or personal pressures, such as gambling or financial problems.

Implement Pre-employment and Post-employment employee screening now!

Preventing financial loss is crucial for your business’s survival and expansion, which is why it’s essential to know and understand its obvious signs. Use the list above as a guide to protecting your organisation.

To detect employee fraud professionally and thoroughly, it is recommended you seek the expertise of a skilled employee fraud accountant as early as possible. They can help you investigate your employees by reviewing your bank statements and financial documents and advise you whether an employee is committing fraud and to what extent. A forensic accountant’s report will also give you the evidence you need to take the necessary action against your employee and act as a deterrent to others.

For a free and confidential chat to discuss how we can help your business, contact us. 

 

About us…

Based in London, CRI® Group works with companies across the Americas, Europe, Africa, Middle East and Asia-Pacific as a one-stop international Risk ManagementEmployee Background ScreeningBusiness IntelligenceDue DiligenceCompliance Solutions and other professional Investigative Research solutions provider. We have the largest proprietary network of background screening analysts and investigators across the Middle East and Asia. Our global presence ensures that no matter how international your operations are, we have the network needed to provide you with all you need, wherever you happen to be. CRI® Group also holds BS102000:2013 and BS7858:2019 Certifications is an HRO certified provider and partner with Oracle.

In 2016, CRI® Group launched the Anti-Bribery Anti-Corruption (ABAC®) Center of Excellence – an independent certification body established for ISO 37001:2016 Anti-Bribery Management SystemsISO 37301 Compliance Management Systems and ISO 31000:2018 Risk Management, providing training and certification. ABAC® operates through its global network of certified ethics and compliance professionals, qualified auditors and other certified professionals. As a result, CRI® Group’s global team of certified fraud examiners work as a discreet white-labelled supplier to some of the world’s largest organisations. Contact ABAC® for more on ISO Certification and training.

MEET THE CEO

Zafar I. Anjum is Group Chief Executive Officer of CRI® Group (www.crigroup.com), a global supplier of investigative, forensic accounting, business due to diligence and employee background screening services for some of the world’s leading business organisations. Headquartered in London (with a significant presence throughout the region) and licensed by the Dubai International Financial Centre-DIFC, the Qatar Financial Center – QFC, and the Abu Dhabi Global Market-ADGM, CRI® Group safeguard businesses by establishing the legal compliance, financial viability, and integrity levels of outside partners, suppliers and customers seeking to affiliate with your business. CRI® Group maintains offices in UAE, Pakistan, Qatar, Singapore, Malaysia, Brazil, China, the USA, and the United Kingdom.

Contact CRI® Group to learn more about its 3PRM-Certified™ third-party risk management strategy program and discover an effective and proactive approach to mitigating the risks associated with corruption, bribery, financial crimes and other dangerous risks posed by third-party partnerships.

CONTACT INFORMATION

Zafar Anjum, MSc, MS, CFE, CII, MICA, Int. Dip. (Fin. Crime) | CRI® Group Chief Executive Officer

37th Floor, 1 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London, E14 5AA United Kingdom

t: +44 207 8681415 | m: +44 7588 454959 | e: zanjum@crigroup.com

UK solicitor sentenced to four years in prison over £2.3m fraud

UK solicitor, Andrew Davies defrauding his firm £2.3m jailed

A former senior partner, the UK solicitor, has been jailed for four years after defrauding his firm out of a total of £2.3m. Andrew Davies, 59, paid personal invoices to himself from the business and under-declared £1.1m in stamp duty land tax to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) for over nine years.

Davies pleaded guilty to one count of fraud by false representation at Reading Crown Court in 2019 and was sentenced to four years imprisonment in January this year. As a senior partner at the firm, Andrew Davies managed to defraud it out of the money by paying personal invoices to himself from the business account.

The 59-year-old also under-declared £1.1m in Stamp Duty Land Tax to HMRC over nine years, over-declaring tax to clients and then taking money from the solicitor’s firms account for himself, both defrauding the company he worked for and HMRC at the same time.

Davies also raised invoices to pay over £1.6 million to his friend Stephen Allan, who worked as a property developer and was a firm client. The 62-year-old from Bishop’s Stortford was convicted at Reading Crown Court on one count of money laundering and jailed for three years.

In a statement, police mentioned the convictions and sentencing of a solicitor’s firm in Berkshire defrauded out of £2.3m between 2010 and 2017.

Allan then made smaller payments into Davies’ account and also pocketed around £400,000 himself. The solicitor extracted funds from the firm’s client account, paying it to Allan in transactions described as ‘fees’, but there was no known work for this.

Davies of The Street, West Clandon, Guildford, and Allan of Thornberry Road, Bishops Stortford, Hertfordshire, were charged by police officers in August 2019.

The statement did not name the firm, but a Solicitors Regulation Authority notice has previously stated that Davies worked for Reading firm Pitmans LLP, which has since become part of another practice. Davies has already been struck by the Solicitors’ Disciplinary Tribunal and ordered to pay £17,000 in costs.

Investigating officer Detective Constable Katie Taylor of Thames Valley Police’s Economic Crime Unit said: ‘In this case, a solicitor trusted to safeguard client funds abused this position and systematically defrauded his firm of large sums of money for his benefit.

‘He then used a corrupt relationship to launder the proceeds of his crime through a property developer. These professional enablers of organised crime represent a significant risk, and we hope that the conviction and sentence, in this case, will act as a deterrent to others.’

Source: Financial Crime News & The Law Society Gazette

 

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About CRI Group

Based in London, CRI Group works with companies across the Americas, Europe, Africa, Middle East and Asia-Pacific as a one-stop international Risk ManagementEmployee Background ScreeningBusiness IntelligenceDue DiligenceCompliance Solutions and other professional Investigative Research solutions provider. We have the largest proprietary network of background screening analysts and investigators across the Middle East and Asia. Our global presence ensures that no matter how international your operations are, we have the network needed to provide you with all you need, wherever you happen to be. CRI Group also holds BS 102000:2013 and BS 7858:2012 Certifications, is an HRO certified provider and partner with Oracle.

In 2016, the CRI Group launched the Anti-Bribery Anti-Corruption (ABAC®) Center of Excellence – an independent certification body established for ISO 37001 Anti-Bribery Management SystemsISO 37301 Compliance Management Systems and ISO 31000 Risk Management, providing training and certification. ABAC® operates through its global network of certified ethics and compliance professionals, qualified auditors and other certified professionals. As a result, CRI Group’s global team of certified fraud examiners work as a discreet white-labelled supplier to some of the world’s largest organisations.

You suspect employee fraud. Now what?

When any type of fraud, including employee fraud, is discovered, it’s usually by surprise. That’s because most of us aren’t used to looking for criminal behaviour inside our own organisation. We trust…
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5 Reasons To Run Employee Screening

Being HR professional, we have to deal with rigorous recruitment cycles, and for this, we must meet with several candidates before closing the vacancy. Every HR person has their style of evaluating the candidates, but one thing that needs to be kept in mind before making the final hiring decision is to “Never judge a book by its cover” (Stonehouse, 2017), since at times we might overlook some critical points, perhaps due to a fancy resume or qualification. Every HR professional should consider a crucial step before taking a candidate on board: run employee screening.

According to Business Week – 16% of executive resumes contain false academic claims and/or material omissions relating to educational experience. The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that the average cost of a bad hiring decision can equal 30% of the first year’s potential earnings.If you are an HR professional and reading this article, then I can assure you that other HR professionals must be thinking, “is it worth investing additional time and money in pre-employment background screening service?” Let me tell you the key benefits that you can gain from conducting pre-employment background screening services:

1. Better Compliance: it keeps you out of legal issues

Let’s suppose one of your employees commits fraud in your company, and after investigations, you came to know that the employee did the same with previous employers. At this point, you will regret not conducting their background check, as if you had conducted their employment and criminal check, then you wouldn’t have hired them in the first place.

2. Ensures credibility when performing sensitive tasks

In addition to legal issues, some background checks can verify a candidate’s creditability in performing their on-job duties. For instance, when a candidate is being hired for the accounts department where petty cash and the company’s account handling are their primary responsibilities, their employment check may come across that his previous employment has concluded due to mishandling of accounts.

3. Safer Work Environment: keep employees and clients safe

Conducting Background checks can also convey a message throughout the company’s stakeholders, especially its clients, that all employees hired in the company have gone through rigorous checks. Therefore, the data shared by the clients are in safe hands, thus increasing the overall integrity of the company and its staff.

4. Verifies education and certification

The increase in the number of fake degrees has amplified the importance of pre-employment check of educations. Therefore, all degrees and certificates of the applicant under consideration should be verified. The outcome of verification is not just about checking an applicant’s honesty but also verifying the legal status of the degrees and their issuing authorities.

5. Stronger hires, more savings: it gives an overall picture of the applicants

Apart from the interviews, pre-employment background checks can help the interviewer to make their hiring decision accordingly. For instance, candidates may have successfully cleared the interview process, but in their employment checks, the company found that they had resigned from their services after they were accused of sexual harassment by colleagues. Irrespective of how competent a candidate is for the vacancy, such red flags regarding the candidate’s behaviour can completely change the hiring decision and safeguard the company from future issues.

It is indeed worth spending extra time and money on pre-employment background screening because making a wrong hiring decision can not only increase recruitment cost and time but may also incur the cost of damage that employee has given to the company, whether in the form of litigation’s or damaging the company’s goodwill.

5 Reasons To Run Employee Screening
5 Reasons To Run Employee Screening
5 Reasons To Run Employee Screening
5 Reasons To Run Employee Screening
5 Reasons To Run Employee Screening

 

So, if your company is not conducting background screening! Think Again!

Being in HR, you might be creating liability for the company by making the wrong hiring decision. It’s never too late to correct your actions, so contact us, and we can provide our employment background screening services. As it is rightly said, I quote, “better safe than sorry” (Bateson, 2008). 

CRI Group, based in London, works with companies across the Americas, Europe, Africa, Middle East and Asia-Pacific as a one-stop international Risk Management and Due Diligence solutions provider. We have the largest proprietary network of background screening analysts and investigators across the Middle East and Asia. Our global presence ensures that no matter how international your operations are, we have the network needed to provide you with all you need, wherever you happen to be. As a result, CRI Group’s global team of certified fraud examiners work as a discreet white-labelled supplier to some of the world’s largest organisations. CRI Group also holds BS 102000:2013 and BS 7858:2012 Certifications, is an HRO certified provider and partner with Oracle.

References

  1. Bateson, J., 2008. Building Hope: Leadership in the Nonprofit World. United States Of America: Greenwood Publishing Group.
  2. Stonehouse, R. A., 2017. You’re Hired! Job Search Strategies That Work. 1st ed. s.l.:eBookIt.com.

 

 

How to conduct background screening in the Middle East?

Background screening is critically important for business worldwide. Providing such service is a complex process, and it is different for every country and region. In the United States, investigators have a web of databases at their disposal and a vast network of local resources that provide a wealth of information at the mere click of a mouse. It’s a different world in the Middle East. Technology is limited in many parts of the region.  Privacy legislation varies from country to country and from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Cultural differences can impact the flow of information. Language barriers can contribute to inaccurate reporting.

Background Screening in the Middle East

Instead of database-driven investigations like those conducted in the U.S, professionals in the Middle East must conduct large parts of their investigations literally on foot, travelling to remote regions to scour records and interview sources. If you’re looking for accurate, reliable information in the Middle East you need to turn to qualified, professional sources that are familiar with the countries, cultures, terrain, languages, resources and – most of all – the laws that govern personal privacy. In this part of the world, your contacts and resources are your greatest assets.

Discovering Hard-to-Find Facts in Hard-to-Reach Locations

The biggest challenge in conducting background investigations in the Middle East is collecting reliable information most efficiently. This requires a well-trained and diverse group of professional investigators who are multilingual and multi-cultural, are familiar with those geographic regions and can easily traverse the obstacles that often impede international investigations. Those obstacles include:

  • Working with local customs offices.
  • Complying with data protection laws and mandates.
  • Knowledge level of local investigative researchers.
  • Lack of centralised information resources and databases; and
  • The proliferation of multicultural environments that are particularly influenced by locals who vastly differ in their approaches to investigative screening and public record searches, particularly with information collected via database sources.

The Obstacle of Background Investigators in the Middle East

To address these obstacles, successful background investigators in the Middle East are often required to work deep in the field, travelling to remote destinations to conduct interviews, develop resources and enlist local assistance to verify the information. Leading background screening firms will conduct investigations that regularly involve a thorough review of local press records, using online and proprietary databases augmented by manual field research to locate the appropriate public records.

This in-depth investigative approach is necessary to bring to light any instances of malfeasance or notable, publicly aired criticism. These professionals will also research all public records that are available within the respective government institutions such as a region’s trial courts, police and SEC sources, and global sanctions lists. The goal of providing this level of investigative legwork is to collect timely, well-documented and substantiated information which will measure up to the high standards often required by our U.S. partners.

Partner With Reputable Background Screening Firms in the Middle East

As the world economy shrinks and the pool of foreign job applicants expands, a partnership with a reputable international employee screening service provider to conduct investigations abroad is essential for maintaining a safe hiring program for your clients. To ensure you’re using the best providers available, a little investigating of your own will result in big benefits down the road.

Checklist on Securing Reputable Background Screening Service:

  • Research the listing of expatriate background screening firms provided by the Professional Background Screening Association https://thepbsa.org/.
  • Ask your provider how they comply with local and regional laws governing individual privacy protection; the methods they utilise in protecting information.
  • Make sure your service provider’s physical address is in the region they’re conducting investigations. If not, they could be simply outsourcing their cases to a third party.
  • Ask about the manner in which your service provider conducts investigations. Avoid firms that investigate exclusively through media searches.
  • Inquire about the internal policies and procedures the service provider uses to monitor the protection of data and if it conducts regular audits to ensure compliance with regional privacy mandates.
  • Specifically, the provider should be in compliance with GDPR and must maintain Information Security Management System ISMS (ISO27001).
  • Don’t settle for firms that say they specialise in providing checks of the International Terrorist Watch List and the OFAC watch list. Those lists are available online to anyone at no cost.
  • Avoid firms that won’t supply you with the source of the records they obtain, were available from public record resources. Also, be sure to ask how old the information collected is.
  • Reputable firms will combine in-depth field investigations with routine public records searches. Make sure your provider is doing both. Background checks involve investigative research and not just press clippings.
  • Service delivery is critical in foreign investigations. Ask about average turnaround times and get commitments for delivery in advance of the investigation.
  • Find out what other U.S. companies use as a service provider. Ask for references.

Employee Background Check

How do you know the candidate you just offered a role to is the ideal candidate? Are you 100% sure you know that everything they’re telling you is the truth? 90%? They showed you a diploma, how do you know it’s not photoshopped? Did you follow the correct laws during your background checks process? Employee background checks and necessary screenings are vital to avoid horror stories and taboo tales that occur within HR, your business, or even your brand – simply investing in a sufficient screening can save you time, money and heartbreak.

CRI® Group has developed EmploySmart™, a robust new pre-employment background screening service, certified for BS7858,  to avoid negligent hiring liabilities. Ensure a safe work environment for all – EmploySmart™ can be tailored into specific screening packages to meet the requirements of each specific position within your company. We are a leading worldwide provider, specialised in local and international employee background checks, including pre-employment and post-employment background checks.

 

About us…

Based in London, CRI® Group works with companies across the Americas, Europe, Africa, Middle East and Asia-Pacific as a one-stop international Risk ManagementEmployee Background ScreeningBusiness IntelligenceDue DiligenceCompliance Solutions and other professional Investigative Research solutions provider. We have the largest proprietary network of background screening analysts and investigators across the Middle East and Asia. Our global presence ensures that no matter how international your operations are, we have the network needed to provide you with all you need, wherever you happen to be. CRI® Group also holds BS102000:2013 and BS7858:2019 Certifications is an HRO certified provider and partner with Oracle.

In 2016, CRI® Group launched the Anti-Bribery Anti-Corruption (ABAC®) Center of Excellence – an independent certification body established for ISO 37001:2016 Anti-Bribery Management SystemsISO 37301 Compliance Management Systems and ISO 31000:2018 Risk Management, providing training and certification. ABAC® operates through its global network of certified ethics and compliance professionals, qualified auditors and other certified professionals. As a result, CRI® Group’s global team of certified fraud examiners work as a discreet white-labelled supplier to some of the world’s largest organisations. Contact ABAC® for more on ISO Certification and training.

MEET THE CEO

Zafar I. Anjum is Group Chief Executive Officer of CRI® Group (www.crigroup.com), a global supplier of investigative, forensic accounting, business due to diligence and employee background screening services for some of the world’s leading business organisations. Headquartered in London (with a significant presence throughout the region) and licensed by the Dubai International Financial Centre-DIFC, the Qatar Financial Center – QFC, and the Abu Dhabi Global Market-ADGM, CRI® Group safeguard businesses by establishing the legal compliance, financial viability, and integrity levels of outside partners, suppliers and customers seeking to affiliate with your business. CRI® Group maintains offices in UAE, Pakistan, Qatar, Singapore, Malaysia, Brazil, China, the USA, and the United Kingdom.

Contact CRI® Group to learn more about its 3PRM-Certified™ third-party risk management strategy program and discover an effective and proactive approach to mitigating the risks associated with corruption, bribery, financial crimes and other dangerous risks posed by third-party partnerships.

CONTACT INFORMATION

Zafar Anjum, MSc, MS, CFE, CII, MICA, Int. Dip. (Fin. Crime) | CRI® Group Chief Executive Officer

37th Floor, 1 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London, E14 5AA United Kingdom

t: +44 207 8681415 | m: +44 7588 454959 | e: zanjum@crigroup.com