Do you follow up on all of the information provided by new recruits when they start work? Do you have a process for checking forms and details?
It is good practice when someone starts working for you to get details from them and no doubt you will have a new starter form or a set of new starter forms that you use to gather the information.
Hopefully you already understand the importance of obtaining identification and checking the right to work of a new recruit, however, how many of you actually read and take in what an employee writes on their forms?
There are reasons why you ask for information from new employees such as:
- Next of kin
- Date of birth
- Medical conditions
- Medication details
Recently I have however noted that many employers are so busy with the induction process that the forms and information are overlooked or merely filed away in a personnel record.
Yes, Alison but my time is limited so what exactly should I be looking out for?
1. Inconsistencies in the information provided and documentary evidence.
You need to be sure that what the employee has told you in the interview or on their CV is correct. If you cross reference this information with what they provide in writing subsequently it is a quick and easy way to check it is true and correct.
2. Not receiving references.
Hopefully you have taken the step to request them, however all too often there is no response before the employee starts work and this is then not followed up.
Make sure that you have received a reference and if there is simply no answer follow it up to ensure you have the correct details and if there is still no answer ask the employee for another referee to contact.
3. Qualifications stated but no evidence provided.
If the qualifications that they have stated, are important to the business and role they are undertaking make sure that you see the original certificates or can verify the details some other way.
3. Medical conditions or medication declared on the form but not followed up.
If the employee has declared a condition on their form it is critical that you ask for more information and that you undertake a risk assessment based on what they tell you.
This need not be a formal written risk assessment; it could be that you note your discussion and are satisfied that it will not impact them at work. If, however it is serious or could be a potentially life threatening condition in future it is important to undertake a risk assessment and put in place measures to prevent future harm. Again, it could be that you take some simple steps, such as making sure that relevant people know about the condition, such as managers and dedicated first aiders, so that in the event there is an issue someone is on hand to assist who knows about the employees condition.
When you take on a new member of staff you are bringing them into your business, exposing them to your customers and other employees, and therefore failing to make the proper checks at the start can cause a number of risks to your business. You can however mitigate these risks by simply taking the time to get your processes right from the outset.
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