A recent article on our Pre-Employment Screening services is reproduced below.



by James Preece, Investigative Researcher, Pinkerton U.K

Over the last five years, Pinkerton Consulting and Investigations in London has developed and grown its pre-employment screening service into one of the largest and most successful businesses of its type in England. We currently undertake background investigations and executive profiling for a number of large, well-known financial institutions. Pre-employment screening can save companies thousands of pounds and potentially protect against numerous possible problems in the workplace.

When requested, Pinkerton in London thoroughly checks out a subject’s curriculum vitae (CV), searches the civil courts register and electoral roll, validates records from schools, universities and prior employment, and also acquires personal references. Over the years, we have found that nearly one-third of all CVs processed incorporate a certain degree of “creative writing”. Indeed, Pinkerton has uncovered many inaccurate CVs, which demonstrates the real value of effective pre-employment screening procedures.

For example, we recently discovered that the facilities manager of a major finance house in London didn’t really possess the qualifications he claimed to have. In fact, every grade, certificate and most of his references were false. Nobody in the company had ever thought to carry out a single pre-employment check. He was eventually arrested for fraud, which resulted in a civil action case in the High Court in London.

Another case, which shows the real value of thorough pre-employment screening, was recently highlighted in the British newspapers. An undercover journalist had apparently faked his identity to take up a position as a cleaner at London’s Heathrow airport. He was able to obtain a temporary airside pass and had boarded a plane with a mobile phone. The journalist was left alone on board three different Virgin Atlantic jets as well as three other aircraft, and was even able to snap a photograph of himself just yards from an open cockpit.

One would expect that an employee holding such a position would have had to undergo thorough security and background checks, but the newspaper revealed that not one enquiry had been made. He could have been a terrorist. The government was so concerned about this incident that they ordered an inquiry.

Another incident involved a leading international management consultancy that did not have a corporate screening policy in place at all. They hired somebody in good faith, and later were forced to release her from her contract after finding she had not disclosed past convictions for fraud.

Recently, this office uncovered a simple ruse often used to bypass cursory checks. An applicant gave an investment bank a copy of his degree certificate and academic record. To all appearances it was genuine. However, we discovered that he had inserted his own name on both documents, having borrowed the papers from a friend.

Of course, there are sometimes perfectly innocent explanations for CV discrepancies. A subject may have re-taken an examination at another college or forgotten to mention some that he or she passed. The irony is that most people who falsify their information do so in the belief that “everyone” does so. However, in the UK it is a criminal offence to falsify such information. Indeed, for companies to employ fraudulent people can lead to disastrous results when unqualified employees made the wrong decisions, having obtained their position through deception.

By outsourcing pre-employment services, companies can ensure a completely independent assessment and Pinkerton has a worldwide reputation for excellence. Employers are only now beginning to realise that a good pre-employment screening policy is absolutely crucial to the operation of a successful company and our clients increasingly value and appreciate the contribution that we are able to make.