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Two-thirds of UK companies fail to check references ahead of start date

Two-thirds (66 per cent) of new employees start work before their reference checks are complete. Two in five (39 per cent) HR leaders believe this is normal practice within their industry. 

However, checks are vital. More than half (58 per cent) of successful applications contain errors and one third (36 per cent) of HR leaders admit they need a clearer way of identifying job candidates with malicious intent. 

Steve Girdler, managing director EMEA at HireRight, comments, “References reveal important details about an individual’s history and help employers ensure they can trust the people they allow to work with their customers, clients and colleagues.

“By failing to carry out due diligence before people start work, companies risk hiring someone who is unable to fulfil the duties of the role, commits fraud or theft, or damages customer relationships.

“A great deal of damage can be done between the moment an employee starts at a new company and when referencing requests are completed.”

Scarce Resources 

HireRight’s Point of Reference research is released today (Monday, 3 November 2014), based on the perspectives of senior human resources leaders in some of the UK’s biggest companies.

It reveals that references are an administrative burden on many HR departments at a time when they are already struggling to find the time to carry out strategic work.  

One third (31 per cent) of HR departments are & lsquo;bogged down’ with responding to queries about references. In a quarter (27 per cent), employees have complained to their managers about the amount of time they spend working on these requests. 

But many HR departments do not have the capacity to spare, when one third (34 per cent) of their time is spent on administrative tasks. HR leaders themselves estimate they spend 2 hours 12 minutes every day on low value work. 


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