Careena is the Operations & Compliance Director responsible for managing the recruitment standards and driving positive changes across the business
Following seven years at a Facilities & Maintenance contracting business, she joined 1st Step in the first month of trading as a Trainee M&E Recruitment Consultant and has progressed through to Director level.
Highly customer focused, she strives to continually improve systems, procedures and working practices to ensure both candidates and clients alike are given the best possible recruitment experience.
She has a keen passion for learning new skills and in her spare time has completed a City & Guilds in Floristry. She also loves to travel and her holiday calendar is often the envy of the company!
As a company that takes our responsibility of checking right to work seriously, I’m always surprised when recruitment professionals join 1st Step and have not previously received any sort of training on checking right to work documents. Many companies seem to accept whatever is given to them, or take the opinion that this is the responsibility of intermediaries or sub-contractors as individuals are not directly engaged by them. However, at 1st Step we make it our business to safeguard ourselves and our client’s by checking every individual who is engaged on one of our projects. Indeed it also amazes me how many candidates present outdated documents which still allow them the right to travel, but no longer provide evidence of the right to work, and yet they have not been challenged or advised that they need to update their documents. Over the last few years, we’ve come a long way from stamps in passports, which weren’t very clear to understand and difficult to verify. Now, whilst not particularly well publicised, there are some useful tools available to employers from the home office, including; Full and comprehensive guidance documents and checklists A basic “sanity check” step by step web guide, talking you through what has been presented and whether that person needs additional documents to prove their work. A biometric verification service allows the candidate to share details of their biometric online, confirming the individuals status and enabling you to cross-reference with the documents collected. The Employers Checking Service, which allows you to check the current status of an outstanding application and establish if you have a statutory excuse whilst this is ongoing. This service will normally give a response within five working days. Employers Helpline for any anomalies and exceptions to the rules (and annoyingly there are still some of them) Training Our first line of defence is our recruiters and everyone at 1st Step is given training on the importance of checking right to work documents, how to check them, and when to refer them to the compliance team. Our compliance team act as our safety net and have a comprehensive understanding of the tools available to them and what to look for when checking documents. Where there is any doubt, they will not hesitate to pick up the phone to the Employers Helpline to seek further guidance. Candidate Support Where candidates have presented out of date documents, often because they were unaware that these are no longer acceptable having been allowed to travel and gone unchallenged by other employers, our compliance team will still go out of their way to educate the candidate, correspond with their solicitors if necessary and provide them the information and contacts they need in order to provide the relevant evidence. We also ensure that any candidates working for us are given reminders and any support required where their documents are approaching the time for renewal.
We are delighted to announce that our rail team have once again achieved a full five stars in our annual RISQS Audit. The team as always have demonstrated a very professional and methodical approach towards compliance in this sector and when processes and procedures are followed as a matter of course throughout the year, with our internal compliance team completing regular checks as standard external audits don't need to be an ordeal. Evidence required to demonstrate our competence in supplying this sector is always readily available and plentiful and the Rail team thoroughly deserve the full five stars awarded to them. On a commercial note, we would urge all our clients who are RISQS accredited to check their audit schedule and RICCL codes prior to their next audit under the new scheme. Whilst our codes were identical to the previous year, the transferral over to RICCL added another day to our audit and nearly doubled the cost, however, the RISQS Customer Service team were very helpful in resolving the discrepancy and intervened to ensure our audit time was reduced accordingly and we weren't charged any more than we would have been under Achilles. A full list of product codes and our most recent audit certificate can be downloaded here. RISQS Certificate of Verification | 3034 Size: 182 KB RISQS Audit Certificate | 3034 Size: 181 KB