A BASINGSTOKE pre-employment background screening company has reached its 10th anniversary milestone – and it is going from strength to strength.

Procius, based at Network House, on Basing View, is run by managing director Julian Parker and commercial director Nick Trollope.

Together, they employ just over 50 people – and Julian and Nick and their team have good reason to celebrate as Procius has enjoyed 10 years of successive growth, conducting more than 12,000 checks on potential employees every year.

And Nick is forecasting further growth, as demand and employment opportunities are increasing on the back of the recovering economy.

“There certainly is an increased appetite amongst businesses to truly know who they are hiring,” said Nick.

“Businesses engage us to reference and background check all of their potential employees. So rather than a company’s own HR department sending out reference requests, we do the checks, including criminal record checks.

“We also look at people’s financial backgrounds and financial probity. All of this is about ascertaining whether candidates are suitable for a client’s environment.”

The origins of the business stem from a terrorist atrocity that is still having ramifications today.

“Procius was born out of the aftermath of 9/11 where, after the event, the UK government really tightened up the screws on what background checks you needed to have done to work at an airport,” explained Nick.

Prior to setting up the business, Nick worked with Julian at Airline Appointments, in Basingstoke. Julian said 9/11 saw a significant downturn in the airline recruitment business.

“With the changes in regulations, and with the airlines struggling to be able to get the people through massively robust and tough background checks, we had our lightbulb moment, and saw that there was a business opportunity – and that’s when we set up Procius.”

Due to the thorough nature of the checks that Procius carries out, IT security firms and those in the financial services and pharmaceutical industry are keen to use its services.

Nick said: “All the work we do is all consented – it’s not cloak and dagger type stuff. The Data Protection Act underpins everything we do.

“The applicant basically says I want this job with British Airways, so I am going to subject myself to this vetting process, knowing that when Procius has finished its work, we are going to hand over the results to BA.”

Keen to expand further in 2014, Nick said: “We very much have an appetite to work with local businesses. Although we are based here in Basingstoke, we don’t actually serve the local area as much as we want to.”