The United Nations System includes the United Nations (UN) and its subsidiary bodies (including separately-administered funds and programmes, research and training institutes and other subsidiary entities), specialised agencies and affiliated organisations. Recent employee data revealed that these bodies account for over 100,000 employees. The UN Charter
states that “the paramount consideration in the employment of staff… shall be the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity.
” The importance of integrity is further enshrined in the organisation’s staff regulations, holding employees accountable for supplying accurate and complete information, both during the application process and in subsequent employment.
Clearly, pre-employment screening
is hugely important to the UN. However, an internal report in 2013 concluded that most system organisations lacked “adequate administrative instruments for guiding their recruiters in conducting references checks
”. It went on to say that staff were not adequately informed, trained or supported; that checks were not conducted in a thorough manner; and that results were not documented. As a result, the recruitment process was often completed despite the lack of suitable reference checks. From this report
, a number of recommendations emerged which still influence the pre-employment screening at any system organisation today. These include the recommendation that a combination of different types of checks be undertaken, conducted in a thorough, systematic and timely manner and with the results documented, reviewed and certified before the recruitment process concludes.
The required checks now include a verification of academic qualifications,
professional qualifications and professional memberships
. Employment history
for the past 5-15 years (dependent on the role) will also need to be checked and verified.
In addition, three professional references
will be required. These have to go above and beyond standard employment references. Instead, these three referees, including the candidate’s current or most recent line manager or supervisor, will be required to vouch for the candidate’s personality facets, integrity, role-specific competencies and other behavioural indicators.
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 references (x3): Three referees, including the candidate’s current or most recent line manager or supervisor, will be required to vouch for the candidate’s personality facets, integrity, role-specific competencies and other behavioural indicators.
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.
United Nations Administrative Tribunals (UNAT) Registry disciplinary record check: We’ll check to see whether an individual’s name appears on the UNAT Registry in connection to any disciplinary matters.
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.
Since 2016, Verifile has been committed to the UN Global Compact corporate responisbility intiative and it's principles in the areas of human rights, labour, the environment and anti-corruption. Verifile support the UN Global Compact to encourage sustainable and socially responsible policies.