Neotas Employment Screening 2021 Annual Report
Reflections on 2021
“Employers in 2021 were forced to adapt and overcome a host of challenges that were multiplied due to the pandemic.
In an increasingly ‘connected’ world, adopting new technologies and techniques like our social media screening services proved vital, leading to actual improvements in hiring decisions.” Ian Howard, Director
The Neotas Employment Screening 2021 Annual Report includes insights and data from the thousands of employment screening checks we conducted that year.
While all searches continue to operate under the strictest data protection guidelines, the Employment Screening 2021 Annual Report gives an overview of our findings. The report includes a selection of noteworthy anonymised cases and insights into the types of behaviours most commonly uncovered in our searches.
What We Found
Traditional employment screening checks are generally procedural and heavily reliant on databases. The primary concern of these checks tends to be based around aptitude and proven criminal history, with less emphasis on attitude or personal suitability for the company.
Our enhanced employment screening searches reduce the blind spots left by traditional checks by broadening and deepening the search into the suitability of an employee. We do this for a new hires as well ongoing monitoring of existing key personnel.
An astonishing 16% of searches in 2021 returned at least one red flag, signalling that a high-risk behaviour was identified which directly related to the individual.
Our clients constantly tell us that these red flags do influence their hiring and staff retention decisions.
Although the primary function of our searches is to identify negative or high-risk behaviours relating to an individual, that is far from the full picture. Another is also to identify positive behavioural attributes that may prove beneficial to a hiring decision or to the employee in question. These are shown as green flags.
84% of cases in 2021 confirmed the suitability of the candidate, many of which included evidence of positive attitudes and behaviours concerning the individuals in question.
Red Flag Breakdown
Neotas conduct pre-built search queries (investigative lines of enquiry) that identify common high-risk behaviours. We also customise and configure the ‘risk identifiers’ and searches to suit the industry or organisation.
Typically, these searches seek to identify illegal behaviour, reputational risks, inconsistencies in personal details and much more.
Examples of the risks included in these searches are:
- Inappropriate / Undesirable Content
- Sexually Explicit Content
- Employment Inconsistencies
- Hate & Discriminatory Behaviour
- Violent Content
- Illegal Activities
- Substance Abuse
- Educational Inconsistencies
Over the past 12 months, the most common red flag uncovered was present in over 45% of cases where a high-risk behaviour was found.
Evidence of hate, discriminatory behaviour or extremism was also one of the most common red flags throughout 2021, alongside links to violent content.
Our searches uncovered evidence of illegal activities in 12% of red flag cases – these behaviours would not be found by a traditional DBS check, had there not been a prior conviction.
All Neotas searches are fully GDPR compliant and we ensure that ‘protected characteristics’ remain protected. Here are some anonymised examples of some of the most noteworthy cases from the past year:
- A senior candidate being onboarded for a role handling confidential data was found to have a history of data leaks in their previous employment.
- We were able to confirm the suitability of a candidate for a management position, also finding evidence of recent charitable and volunteering work.
- An executive candidate being considered by a major organisation had links to a number of potential reputational risks, including a history of publicly sharing explicit content.
Why use enhanced social media screening?
More than 16% of cases in 2021 returned at least one red flag, constituting a high-risk behaviour associated with an individual that would not have been picked up by traditional database-reliant checks.
In an increasingly remote working environment, those making hiring decisions can no longer rely on face-to-face meetings to help evaluate individuals, therefore additional information and insights are vital.
The experience of many thousands of cases has enabled Neotas to develop a powerful Online Reputation Screening capability in the form of a managed service and a ‘pay-As-You-Go’ model.
By adopting the latest and most innovative of Neotas’s services which is ongoing risk monitoring for existing employees, we have proven that organisations do reduce bad hires.
By establishing Ongoing Monitoring as part of the hiring process we have helped many companies protect against such damage and loss. The upside is greater ‘peace of mind’ and a more positive culture amongst employees.