Faulty vetting procedures allow fraudulent staff to slip the net

More than a third of UK companies have been let down by a candidate vetting procedure that has allowed fraudulent applicants to slip into the organisation, according to research by screening company Powerchex.

According to the poll of more than 300 HR managers, 39% of UK companies have found that an employee has lied or used misleading information, despite passing the pre-employment vetting procedure.

The majority of these companies only have their own systems to blame as 85% had used an in-house vetting process, while 4% contracted an outside specialist, and 11% had used a combination of the two.

The research also shows that almost half of UK employers do not check temporary staff, choosing to leave this to the recruitment agency. Of this number, only around 59% have established the effectiveness of the agency vetting system, while 41% don’t know whether temps are checked at all.

Alexandra Kelly, an expert on applicant vetting at Powerchex, warned that identity theft and employee fraud were on the rise, and that companies were already being caught out.

“The potential consequences of hiring unscrupulous candidates are huge, both from a financial and reputational perspective,” she said. “Recent cases show that fraud can occur with any level of employee.”

She cited recent high-profile cases – such as Joyti De-Laurey, who stole £4m from investment bank Goldman Sachs after she started working there as a temp – as potential consequences for employers.

The findings support previous research by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, which found that 23% of bosses had sacked an employee who was found to have lied on an application.

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