The media and entertainment industry has changed more in recent years than arguably any other. The TV, radio, cinema, music, publishing, advertising and gaming sectors have increasingly converged on one another, driven by technology, the internet and digitisation. Thanks to a seemingly insatiable public demand for media and entertainment content, revenue in the UK alone is expected to grow by over 10%, reaching £76 billion by 2021.
Recent high profile abuse scandals in the TV and movie sectors have however brought the issue of inappropriate behaviour within the industry workforce to the fore. As well as the obvious distress caused to the individuals affected by such incidents, the potential damage to a business’ reputation and brand - as well as the knock-on implications for investors’ confidence – can be significant.
The fall-out from those scandals prompted the country’s leading TV broadcasters to come together to agree on a new pan-industry approach to background screening. This requires Basic criminal record checks to be undertaken on any artists working on productions involving children or young adults.
The dangers of rogue employee behaviour within this industry go far further than this, however. In such a highly technical and sophisticated industry, a candidate’s professional and academic qualifications, as well as their employment history, demand a closer look.
In addition, in an industry so inextricably linked to social media, employers are increasingly keen to check that a potential new hire does not have a history of social media activity that would prove incompatible with their corporate values and behaviours.
And finally, although they’re hardly employees, there’s a growing trend within the industry to indulge in extensive background screening on the never-ending stream of recruits to the world of reality TV and gameshows. Giving airtime to fraudulent – or even criminally-minded – individuals whose true background only emerges once they’re on TV is typically a sure-fire way of killing a programme’s chances of being commissioned for another series.
Checks that employers may want to consider running in this sector
Right to Work: We’ll ensure that a candidate’s documentation meets the current Home Office requirements. We can also repeat checks as and when needed for individuals who have a limited entitlement to remain in the UK.
Identity checks: To prevent employers falling victim to identity fraud, we can undertake electronic verification checks on identity documents provided by a candidate. Alternatively, we can provide online identity checks, using biographical data.
Criminal record checks: We’ll undertake the appropriate level of UK criminal record checks, subject to strict eligibility guidelines. We’re also able to obtain overseas criminal records for candidates with an international background.
Employment history: We can verify a candidate’s work history and references for the past three years, including checks on the existence and authenticity of all listed employers. Using our CV comparison service, we can also check for any discrepancies between the CV used to secure an interview and the subsequent findings of the full background check.
Professional and academic qualifications: Where applicable, we can check the validity of someone’s professional accreditations or registrations while also checking that their academic qualifications are genuine. For all professional and academic qualifications, we’ll always check at source with the awarding body.
International fraud and sanctions watchlists: We’ll check to see whether a candidate’s name appears on any of the hundreds of publicly available watchlists worldwide, relating to anything from terrorism and fraud through to being a barred or politically exposed person.
Credit checks: We’ll establish a candidate’s identity, address history and financial status via credit referencing agency records. The search will reveal details of financial probity and information including County Court Judgements, bankruptcies and voluntary arrangements within the last six years. This search will be recorded on the candidate’s file but will not be visible to other parties and will not affect the candidate’s credit score.
Social media checks: An increasingly popular – and relevant – check for employers keen to understand whether someone’s social media activity could damage their brand, reputation or client relationships. As well as highlighting illegal activity and undesirable characteristics, such checks can also play a part in authenticating a candidate’s employment history.
Driving licence checks: We’ll check that the candidate does indeed have a valid driving licence. We’ll also check for any endorsements or disqualifications currently on their licence.