Know your staff!

by Nick Allan

Employee fraud is a growing problem. CIFAS, the UK's Fraud Prevention Service, estimates that employee fraud costs the UK £40million and some 1,500 employee fraudsters are dismissed each year.

It's not just a question of people helping themselves to pens from the stationery cupboard or inflating their expense claims. People will falsify their CVs to get the job they want and it is now recognised by prosecution agencies that serious organised criminals will infiltrate selected companies, and endeavour to place individuals in positions where they have access to money, goods or information. Employers should be very aware that such information could well be 'identity information' that can then be used by the criminal to defraud the company, an individual employee or support other forms of identity fraud such as false passport or driving licence applications.

Do you ensure that every employee you recruit has been through the same procedures? Do you fully check their identity and address and fully reference them before they are allowed to start? This task becomes an even more difficult proposition for large businesses that not only have multiple entry points for staff, including temporary and permanent employees and contractors, but also multiple operational sites to cover.

Feedback from discussions with many large organisations has been enlightening. Several revealed that they have had difficulty in ensuring that the individual who actually starts with the business on day one is the same individual who was first interviewed. Others said that although their satellite offices perform some level of checking on new candidates, they do not always feed back this information to central HR. One or two admitted that they are no longer referencing at all.

To reduce the chance of fraud happening within your business you need to ensure you are thoroughly checking a new candidate's identity and address. It is not enough to rely solely on physical documents, although these must also be double-checked to guard against forgeries. The most efficient way is with an online check that can confirm a candidate's identity and address within seconds against a wide range of datasets. A business must also ensure that it fully references all candidates even though traditionally this has been a time-consuming role for HR. Fully automating the referencing process will free up your HR team as well as speeding up the references process.

As a credit reference agency, Callcredit has a history of working with FSA regulated companies who are used to following set procedures such as credit checking new staff. We are now also seeing businesses in other sectors looking at increasing the levels of verification they perform on new staff, such as retailers, call centres and outsourcers who are becoming increasingly concerned about the rising levels of fraud carried out by staff who handle cash and cards.

Callcredit's CallCV is a flexible and cost-effective online candidate vetting system. Accessible 24 / 7, it enables employers to perform identity and financial checks on candidates, confirm where they live, and verify details of academic and career history. It can even check professional memberships.

The CallCV service is menu-driven, giving users the flexibility to specify the checks that suit their needs, and it is priced accordingly. A basic ID check costs less than £4 with reference checking costing just £9.95.

Nick Allan is CallCV Sales Manager at Callcredit