How Can Identity and National Police Checks Protect Your Business?
As a business owner, you want to know that the people working with you and the people you employ are of good character and can be trusted not to jeopardize the business. A police check helps to determine eligibility for certain jobs by checking the person’s police history and verifying who they are.
Identity verification and a criminal background check are key operations to finding good hires with business protection in all forms a top priority. For businesses where the process is applicable, it is a smart choice. Here is everything you need to know about how identity checks and national police checks can protect your business.
How Can Identity and Police Checks Protect Your Business?
Identity verification checks and police checks work simultaneously. A national police check will verify a person’s identity at the same time it finds criminal record information.
Using a national criminal history check as part of recruitment methods is an essential way to lower the risk of crimes occurring that bring harm to all aspects of the business. Here are some important ways that adding this process can protect your business.
Protect Current Employees
When searching for new hires, as a business owner you want to ensure all employees are suitable for the role, and will function well together within the workplace. Employees tend to work in close proximity to each other, with personal belongings and perhaps personal information all accessible in the work space.
Business owners share some responsibility in protecting staff. A new hire without the right background screening could put your current employees at risk. Each individual should be trustworthy and show respect to all other employees.
A police check will inform you of whether a candidate has broken the law, put others at risk or shown a general lack of good character. An offence on a person’s record however is not grounds for disqualification, unless the offence directly goes against company policy, such as convictions for theft within the workplace.
Support a Professional Work Environment
Overall, the inclusion of a national police check for recruitment purposes immediately promotes a professional work environment managed by employers that take safety seriously. While it does add a little more time to the job application process, many jobseekers find this requirement attractive, and the company is more likely to be viewed as professional.
Police checks might also keep employees from engaging in criminal activity. An understanding of policies and tolerance on criminal behaviour in the workplace can help to deter such actions. It can help to prevent misconduct and promote a positive environment for each team member.
Protect Business Reputation and Standards
Reputation can be everything to a successful business. Many companies spend years mastering their service and customer satisfaction. Unfortunately, a bad hire could cause serious damage to reputation, and even destroy it.
Ultimately, a national police check can determine how suited an individual is to a role. Credentials and an overview of their character can help to protect the business by hiring good, suitable candidates with good moral values. Reputation is grown by continuous high standards, and most of the time it is the employees that drive and deliver these standards.
Not only does screening protect the reputation of businesses in the long term, it promotes a strong recruitment process to the public. Vetting employees assures customers that care has been taken to continue to build a strong reputable business with high standards.
Protect Business Assets
All assets of a business must be kept secure and protected, whichever category they fall into. Assets relate to any items of value the company has. This could range from cash, equipment and furniture to property and investments. Many businesses have a long list of assets with different values. Regardless of value, all should be protected so that the business may function properly.
Allowing anybody to join the business with access to assets could result in damages. For example, a company-owned vehicle could be stolen by an experienced thief. Without the right screening, all assets are at potential risk. Without assets, an entire business could ultimately be destroyed.
Protect Service Users
Businesses rely on customers and clients to generate revenue. Keeping those who use your services satisfied is vital to the health of the business. To protect your clientele, a secure service must be in place with trusted employees, as well as good quality products and services.
Untrustworthy employees can jeopardize services and lower standards. Once this happens, it can be challenging to hold onto customers.
For many businesses, security is essential. Some businesses require sensitive information from customers for various reasons, and this must be kept completely secure. If somebody with a history of fraudulent crimes gained access to this information, the customer is left at risk, and the business could be scrutinized for lack of due diligence.
Protect Sensitive Data
Every business has information which is best kept private for safety purposes. This might include financial information, bank accounts, employee information and more. In many cases, only trusted employees will be granted access to such information, but with a dangerous employee working within the business, confidential information could be compromised.
Build and Maintain Trust
Whatever your business type, trust is key to a healthy, successful business. Trust is required between employees and employer, and between business and customer/client. Police checks are a preventative measure for criminal behaviour, and conducting pre-employment screening builds and maintains trust knowing that the people handling information, whatever the service, are not criminally inclined.
In child and aged care sectors, trust is one of the major elements for the business. Children and vulnerable people must not be put at risk, and a criminal history check is vital to minimising this danger.
Should Every Business Ask For A Police Check?
It is not always necessary for a business to request an Australian police check from potential employees. In certain industries, the policy of a police check is required by law, but for others, businesses should consider whether a background check on employees is beneficial to the business.
A police check is of vital importance to sectors where employees are given access to vulnerable persons like children and the elderly. It is also important for roles which manage finances and other sensitive information. For other sectors, it is not common practice. For instance, a bartender is unlikely to need a mandatory check before beginning a new job.
If national police clearance is suitable for your business, the best way to approach it is with an honest and open process from the outset to operate a fair recruitment process, where potential candidates feel welcome.
What Rights Does Your Business Have?
Businesses have a right to request a criminal history check from candidates to ensure they are a good fit for the job and the business. However, the candidate must give informed consent to a police check beforehand, with an understanding of how their information will be handled. A business should not request applicants to disclose information relating to police history without good reason, for example, following Australian protection laws.
The individual has the right to decline a police check, and in this case, must seek work with another business if the requirement is mandatory.
A business should never discriminate against a potential employee because of their police record. Instead, the procedure should be done fairly and openly from the beginning to avoid anti-discrimination disputes. As a business owner, you should be considerate to those who have a criminal record, and be sure to make a clear judgement call based on the information you have.
Which Previous Convictions Could Impact a Business?
Many Australians have a criminal record, but this does not make them bad people. There is a big difference between minor offences and more serious crimes. A traffic offence, while still a conviction, is less likely to impact a business in the way that an individual with a criminal history of repeat offences for fraud might.
When reviewing an applicant and their record, an employer must carefully consider how prior offences could have an impact on the business, without discriminating against anybody.
In care settings, serious crimes such as sexual assault and child cruelty are not tolerated. A kind and caring nature is an essential trait of those working with vulnerable persons, and certain offences can depict whether the person is suited to this line of work.
For services engaging with sensitive data such as financial or government information, a person’s record can reveal the likelihood of threat in these sectors. Offences for theft, fraud, cybercrime and bribery are all major red flags for this type of work.
How Can a Business Streamline The Process?
Many businesses across Australia are already implementing national police checks and identity checks on new and current staff. There are some ways that you can make the procedure as straightforward as possible for employees.
First and foremost, the requirement for national police clearance should be made clear from the very beginning of the application stage. This means applicants are aware of having to consent to a police check before moving forward with the application. If the applicant is not willing to consent, they can stop at this stage before wasting their time and the employers time. Criminal records can be a sensitive subject, and some people will not appreciate learning of the requirement further down the recruitment line.
The Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission grants accredited bodies permission to run police checks on behalf of applicants. There are many of these services available in Australia, but you should opt to use an ACIC approved provider. Many offer packages to businesses for pre-employment screening which help to make the process more manageable.
How Does a Police Check Verify Identity?
A national police check requires personal information and identity documents from every applicant. Information including names, address history and date of birth are used to search the police computers across all states and territories. Identity documents are uploaded and scanned using smart technologies which cross match photographs and detect false or altered documents.
The whole process concludes that the person is who they claim to be, and assures the information they provided during the application was accurate.
National police checks are not suitable or a reasonable requirement for every job. But for jobs where it is, this type of screening can be greatly beneficial, and is an obvious choice for businesses that require safety and security at all times.
For more information on this topic, contact Crime Check Australia.