02 July 2018
News reports of qualification scandalsinvolving high level administrators in the public and private sector, alike,continue to stress the critical importance of comprehensive backgroundscreening checks. All job seekers are urged to be honest, as the personal risksassociated with being found out for misrepresentation or fraud can be fargreater.
“The country is still experiencing atough economic climate, and unemployment numbers remain high at 26.7%.This also means there are more people not only looking, but competing foremployment opportunities,” says Michelle Baron-Williamson, CEO of ManagedIntegrity Evaluation (MIE). “Despite this, job seekers must never give intodespair as they seek to make themselves more ‘employable’ to increase theirchances - representing themselves honestly at all times must be a toppriority.”
According to MIE research, more and morebusinesses are opting to conduct comprehensive background screening checks onpotential candidates – to verify the qualifications and work experience held bythe candidate etc. - prior to appointment.
“Businesses are looking to mitigate andmanage their human resource and procurement risks. At a base level the processof background screening usually involves identification, criminal record,qualification and credit checks. However, we are seeing growing demand from ourclients and the market for more comprehensive checks and consulting servicesthat offer a ‘single-view’ of the candidate. And, this often includes the workexperience a candidate states having, their past employment opportunities,social media profiles and so on. If a candidate is found to have falsifieddocuments or misrepresented details of work history in any way, this can have adamming impact on their opportunities to secure employment – now and in thefuture,” adds Baron-Williamson.
MIE urges all job seekers to remainhonest; to ensure that all the information included on an individual’s CV, or thatis presented during a formal job interview, is factual and truthful.
Baron-Williamson indicates that while acandidate may be tempted to ‘embellish’ certain aspects of their qualificationsor work experience, it is not worth the potential personal risk. “If acandidate has embellished, lied or skewed details about themselves in anyway,this could lead to the candidate being disqualified from the interview process,and even ‘black listed’ from applying for any future available job positionswith the same organisation. But, this is actually the ‘best-case-scenario’.”
As public awareness grows and governmentand businesses, alike, feel more pressured to take a hardline against anyfraudulent activities that can be linked to their entities, the market canexpect to see more investigations into such instances. “If a candidate is foundto have willfully committed fraud they could face criminal charges, which willgive them a criminal record that will follow them for the rest of their lives,”says Baron-Williamson.
“We encourage all job seekers to applyfor positions they are suitably fit for – both in having the correctqualifications and the necessary work experience – and to be honest about anygaps that present opportunities for new learnings, and what they can reallyoffer the organisation. While the job market may be tough, a candidate shouldnever be willing to compromise on their credibility – and should always be trueto themselves,” concludes Baron-Williamson.