Here’s our 2020 review...
It’s a little difficult writing positively about 2020 when, for many, it has been an incredibly challenging time.
But, if there’s one thing we can take away from the last 12 months is that the desire for people to help others, and their determination to overcome challenges together, is what makes us strong. Local legend Captain Sir Tom Moore was a shining example of this.
Captain Sir Tom Moore and his nephew Benji
While later in the year phrases like “you’re on mute” and “support bubble” became commonplace, and Doctors and Government Advisors became household names, the beginning of 2020 started much the same as any other, and it wasn’t long before we received some good news.
It was announced that our CEO and founder, Eyal Ben Cohen, had been named as Cranfield School of Management’s Entrepreneur Alumnus of the Year
The Cranfield School of Management annual alumni awards, recognise special achievements and contributions of alumni, providing Cranfield with an opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate those who exemplify the values of the school.
Speaking at the time, James Pagliaro, Senior Development Manager at Cranfield University, said: “Importantly, Eyal’s vision gives other businesses peace of mind and confidence when hiring new employees; in a world where good people are key to a company’s success – this is integral.
“It is for this reason, that we are delighted to announce that Eyal is the winner of this year’s Entrepreneur Alumnus of the Year Award.”
Cranfield School also highlighted Verifile’s excellent growth in turnover, profits, product and geographical reach.
But, Eyal said this award, and others, aren’t just for him. Announcing the award to Verifile staff, he said: “This award really is for each and every one of us working at Verifile.
“While I may have come up with the idea and while I may be behind most of the decisions, without the teams here I would not have been considered.
“It is you who get on and get the job done, you who deliver the quality products and services. You make me proud and now you make Cranfield University proud.”
Verifile Founder, Eyal Ben Cohen, at Cranfield University
In February, Verifile found that 60% of job applicants have lied on their CV
As a background screening company, Verifile carries out a wide range of checks on behalf of clients, including those who need to carry out screening during their recruitment process.
The internal research of those CVs checked by Verifile highlighted how widely spread the problem of CV fraud has become, but also how Verifile’s merging of technology and human verification methods are able to catch discrepancies for their clients.
Looking at the checks carried out in the previous 12 months up to the end of 2019, Verifle’s referencing teams found inaccuracies in:
- 13% of employments checked
- 15% professional memberships and licences checked
- 13% of qualifications checked
Meanwhile, the quality of Verifile’s knowledge and the tenacity of their teams was also highlighted with a drop of 7% in the number of checks returning ‘no result’, when compared to 2018 figures.
In 2019 Verifile were only unable to verify a tiny 4% of qualifications, employments and memberships listed on CVs.
This is a very impressive and demonstrates how Verifile always goes that extra mile to verify every piece of information we receive.
In March, the COVID-19 pandemic that had been spreading across the world impacted Britain. Thinking ahead to how this may impact our business and that of our clients, a team was put together to understand how we could continue to provide our services if we were unable to come into our centralised office.
Using what we had learnt by achieving our Business Continuity Management Systems ( ISO 22301)
citification, and the experience of our leadership teams we sought to create a remote network that all Verifilians could use and access where it was safe to do so.
Colleagues began working hard to arrange to work remotely, setting up offices at home, or creating safe spaces in our building if they could not find a remote working space, and this was not a moment too soon.
Just days later a national lockdown was announced.
In many ways, there was no disruption to how we carried out delivering our services, or at least not one that our clients will have noticed. Verifile had adapted quickly and maintained the provision of services as best as it could, with little to no difference at the point of delivery.
But now, the national effort to fight COVID-19 was in full swing and looking at how best to play our part, Verifile announced that they would be waiving the admin fees for DBS checks
and fast-tracking any for positions that would be needed for the fight against COVID-19.
While this was in response to the DBS waiving fees for certain positions, the additional removal of Verifile’s admin fees gave England and Wales’ NHS and Healthcare agencies a chance to save millions in their much-needed COVID-19 recruitment drive.
Verifile pledged £3 million to support COVID-19 recruitment
But this wasn’t the end of Verifile’s support. Adapting this offer even further, Verifile pledge up to £3 million
, to the COVID-19 effort by:
- Waiving all DBS admin fees for health and social care roles treating COVID-19
- Utilising its position as a DBS umbrella body to make sure suitable positions were fast-tracked
- Guaranteeing employers recruiting staff and volunteers to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic in England and Wales a free end-to-end service
At the time, Eyal said that it was important for all businesses to join the fight against COVID—19, something that still rings true almost a year later.
“As a UK based business, it’s vital that Verifile works to support our health and social care workers keeping our country safe,” he said.
“By working with the DBS, and removing our own admin fees, we can reduce the financial burden on the NHS and other health and social care providers so they can use that money toward their fight against COVID-19.
“We are in unprecedented times and we must all play our part in supporting the fight against COVID-19. We must all pull together and make a serious commitment where it counts.”
As the year continued, Verifile did have to make some difficult choices but the company remained strong and work continued, and their efforts did not go unnoticed.
In December Verifile was recognised as a UK Business Hero during COVID-19 pandemic
The recognition was part of the UK Business Hero campaign, created by the UK’s Chamber of Commerce and HRH The Countess of Wessex, and designed to highlight the efforts businesses made in fighting the Coronavirus pandemic
Informing Verifile that they had been named a UK Business Hero, Justin Richardson Chief Executive of Bedfordshire Chamber of Commerce said: “Bedfordshire Chamber of Commerce would like to congratulate Verifile and all the staff involved for their contribution and responding to the needs of frontline workers and the local community.”
Meanwhile, it wasn’t just the client and candidate facing teams who were working hard to improve and evolve Verifile’s offering.
Working in the background, our teams researched and developed 206 new international checks.
The addition of these checks now means Verifile’s Background Screening Teams can deliver 3,509 checks in 251 countries and jurisdictions.
They also found ways to reduce hundreds of checks already in place, such as:
• 96 new checks added in 68 countries
• 68 checks were reduced in price
Credit and Financial Checks:
• 19 new checks added in 12 countries
• 70 checks were reduced in price
• 7 new checks added in 4 new countries
• 12 checks were reduced in price
• 25 new checks added in 24 countries
• 21 checks were reduced in price
• 47 new checks added in 36 countries
• 45 checks were reduced in price
Alongside this, various upgrades to our website and other systems continue to increase Verifile’s quality of service, bringing a more efficient yet robust background screening process for clients and their candidates.
Team Verifile has continued to work remotely
Finally, just before we closed for Christmas, we announced we had been Pre-Approved For Public Sector Background Screening as part of the G-Cloud 12 network
G-Cloud frameworks are a pre-negotiated agreement between Government and suppliers of technology services, helping government departments access services that are already within procurement guidelines.
This saves the public purse time and money and makes sure that the public sector has access to the very best services quickly and easily.
What's in store for 2021?
So that was 2020, but while the year is over, the battle against COVID-19 and Verifile’s relentless mission to create the best background screening services is not.
We all continue to work remotely, and we continue to strive to support the efforts of our NHS and Healthcare heroes in their fight against this deadly virus.
Alongside this business continues as usual.
We may have just entered a third lockdown, but we are delivering services as our clients expect and also developing new systems such as a new mobile app and a partnership with the Post Office that we’ll announce soon.
Also, as our clients start to recruit again, it shows good signs for the economy bouncing back. We are also continuing to recruit more staff in our operations and software development teams, and so there are positive signs of recovery.
Of course, we're not out of the woods yet, but it's good to see movement in the right direction. We are certainly starting 2021 in a strong place and we are raring to go.