Why Reference Checking?

Hiring more people within a company no matter the size can be a lot of effort, waste a lot of time and cost a lot of money so it is important to do it right, which means reference checking. As a large company, it is often the case that there will be an in-house HR team or outsourced company to deal with new employment and reference checking. As a smaller company, it is likely the managing director or office managers handle the process themselves. Companies are at risk of losing a great deal of money from not following the correct employment process. Below are a few recommendations on how you can create and run an effective pre-employment screening process.


1) Understand your risk profile

While lots of businesses have the brand and reputational risk among the leading reasons to conduct background checks, but all organisations have different types of risk. While organisations understandably wish to avoid bad publicity, risk profiles inevitably vary between companies and industry sectors. Other risk-profile considerations include whether the company has regulatory responsibilities to demonstrate due diligence in hirings, such as financial institutions and those working with sensitive or vulnerable people.

2) Implement a strong policy

A background check policy is important because it streamlines the collection, storage and dissemination of employee or applicant background information. When established protocols are in place, incidents of people making mistakes because they had to make a judgment call are reduced.

3) Make It Company-Wide

Create and apply background check policies across the whole company, even for senior management. On average, supervisors spend 17% of their time managing poorly performing employees. In the same survey, 95% of employers said that a poor hiring decision affects the morale of the whole team. Ensuring that the people you hire have the correct qualifications saves time and effort while preserving company spirit.[1]

4) Be Consistent

Pre-employment background screening must be consistent. Most negligence issues start from inconsistency in applying HR policies. Inconsistent enforcement opens the door to discrimination charges, and background screening is no exception.

5) What information can I search for?

Creating pre-defined service packages ensures that your screening policy will be consistently applied. Best practices basic packages includes the following:

• Address Verification
• Identity Verification
• Previous Employment Verification
• Education and Credential Verification
• Reference Check
• Media Check
• Criminal Record Check

6) Understand local and regional screening variance

When building your pre-employment screening program, it is critical to understand that not all countries take the same view of the availability and use of certain types of pre-employment screening information. Creating compliant data and background screening processes is a complex and evolving challenge for all organisations and one that is multiplied by every country involved. As an essential means to ensure the safety and quality of staff, employers need to ensure that their screening programs are right for their organisation and their candidates; transparent, consistent and proportionate by design; and capable of handling an increasingly globalised workforce and disparate regulatory requirements.


[1] https://www.smartrecruiters.com/blog/best-practices-for-building-an-effective-compliant-background-check-policy/

Let’s Talk!

If you have any further questions or interest in implementing background screening solutions, please contact us.

CRI Group has safeguarded businesses from any risks, providing investigations (i.e. insurance fraud), employee background screening, investigative due diligence, business intelligencethird-party risk management, forensic accounting, compliance and other professional investigative research services. In 2016, CRI Group launched Anti-Bribery Anti-Corruption (ABAC®) Center of Excellence – an independent certification body established for ISO 37001:2016 Anti-Bribery Management Systems, ISO 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. Contact ABAC® for more on ISO Certification and training.