Employee screening

Dishonesty, theft, false CVs, fraud, harassment: avoid the risk before you employ


Thursday, 01 May 2014


Selecting the best candidate for the job means considering cognitive abilities, personality, emotional intelligence, qualifications, and language and equipment proficiency.

Unfortunately, too few companies perform due diligence when it comes to the security side of the hiring process. These include reference checks; gathering additional information via an objective third party; or verifying criminal records via a fingerprint.

Suddenly Sue from Accounts has disappeared with over a million in cheque fraud in three short months, and the company is left handling the aftermath.

Employing people is not cheap, and it is best to safeguard your investment at the beginning rather than regret it later on.

According to Managed Integrity Evaluations (MIE), approximately 16% of candidates screened had records that reflected risk in terms of criminal activity.

According to Jenny Reid, CEO of ¡Facts, the new regulations pertaining to the Credit Act will keep companies in the dark about potential employees or vendors.

With the regulation changes to the National Credit Act of 2005, which came into effect on 1 April 2014, the Department of Trade and Industry (dti) has given credit bureaux in South Africa approximately two months to remove adverse consumer credit information relating to paid-up judgements. This means 6,5-million status updates relating to 4,2-million credit profiles will be deleted in a short period of time.

According to ¡Facts, negative descriptions - such as slow payer, delinquent, default or non-contactable -will no longer be allowed. The bureaux will also not be allowed to give out enforcement action indicators, such as legal action, written off, repossessed or overdue.

"As it allows for the once-off removal of negative credit information, plus the continuous removal of paid-up judgement, it means that there will be no track record of bad payment," Reid says. "There will also be no notice of the action taken against these individuals.

"While this doesn`t necessarily mean that the debt is written off, it does hide important information when investigating potential employees," she explains.

"In effect, it will increase security risks around new people coming into a company. This extends to vendors you might be about to use.

"The truth is that employees with a poor credit history can pose a security threat," she says. "The information previously accessible would help put this history in context. It is important to know if the individual provided the correct information or deliberately misrepresented basic facts," says Reid.

Accurate information helps companies to rule out the risks associated with new employees or vendors.

The accurate and legal gathering of information needed for quality pre-employment screening is both time-consuming and exacting, and requires knowledgeable administrative skills.

By utilising employee pre-screening, businesses will ensure a successful hiring process. Pre-employment screening can typically cost less than the first day`s work on the job - and is usually applied to those candidates a company has decided to extend an offer to.

The damage a fraudulent or criminally-minded employee can cause your company, coupled with the high incidence of crime in South Africa, means that employers simply cannot afford to put themselves at risk.

Keeping shop-sa members abreast of criminal and fraudulent activity in the stationery and office products industry.
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ACKNOWLEDGMENT: Security SA | Griffiths and Associates | iFacts

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