The shortage of care professionals could mean employers are less
vigilant over making initial checks when recruiting, a workforce
expert has warned, writes Derren Hayes.
It follows publication of a Chartered Institute of Personnel and
Development survey which shows that nearly a quarter of the 715
employers surveyed didn’t always check candidates’ references. It
also revealed 23 per cent had dismissed someone who was already in
post for false information given during the recruitment process.
Tony Garthwaite, chair of the workforce committee of the
Association of Directors of Social Services Wales and Bridgend
social services director, says social care employers are so keen to
fill vacancies they sometimes offer jobs to applicants before
making police, reference and health checks. It can mean job offers
being withdrawn when information doesn’t check out, Garthwaite
“What influences employers taking this risk is the competition for
staff,” he says. “People are more likely to make conditional
appointments and while there’s no evidence to suggest recruiters
are cutting corners, there is more risk in doing this than making
In Bridgend they only make a job offer after checks have been
carried out, says Garthwaite. He adds that employers could check
references of shortlisted candidates before carrying out
Andy Wilson, employment relations adviser at the Local Government
Employers’ Organisation, says that in the era of police checks,
professional registration and increased regulation the problem is
unlikely to be faced by statutory agencies. But the voluntary
sector could be susceptible.
Homelessness charity St Mungo’s says that it has withdrawn job
offers and dismissed staff in the past 12 months because of
misleading information on applications. It discovered that
candidates were providing references from organisations they had
not worked for.
The charity has also made it a requirement for all successful
applicants to fill in recruitment forms and provide ID and address
documents in person rather than posting them after a candidate used
someone else’s passport as proof of their right to work in the UK.