Know who you are hiring
Why is it so critical for Employers to background check potential new employees?
We all know how daunting it is to draw up an employment offer and present it to a new potential staff member.
Our mind races, as we address the internal questions;
Does the candidate have the required skills?
Is there anything in their past that will jeopardise my position or the company?
What really did their previous employers think of them?
I wonder if they have a valid drivers license, they arrived in an Uber?
What are my legal rights? Can I try and reduce my risk, by checking them out?
Let me try and put your mind at ease and give you some advice based on our 10 years’ experience.
In our opinion, every employer should be do some form of pre-employment screening on potential new employee’s. Before any checks commence, it is a legal requirement that the potential employee sign a Consent & Indemnity form, making them aware of what potential pre-employment checks will be conducted.
Recommended Background Checks are:
(Varies slightly according to role: Call to discuss)
This involves fingerprinting of the potential new employee and in some case’s a verification of the candidate’s ID is required. Should the report come back, and you find the potential employee has a criminal background, then the first thing to do is request more detail from the vendor.
Often cases on an applicant’s name are from long ago and may even have been a misdemeanour, our advice is to always consult with the potential employee before foregoing on any employment potential offer. Criminal checks results are typically acquired within 2 – 5 working days (With exceptions).
Employment Reference Check
We always suggest a minimum of two checks be conducted, from the potential employees past employers. Always attempt to get the most senior person/direct managerial report at their past employment to give a reference. Please remember that often these reference checks can be subjective and require an element of interpretation, as many elements/factors are brought into the final equation. Reference checks are typically acquired within 48 – 72 hours.
Regardless of what the role is of the new potential employee, it is suggested that the employer ascertain the highest level of education of the potential employee. In most cases we conduct a minimum of one/two educational checks. Typically, one would screen for a Matric (Bachelors Certificate) and then verify any other form of tertiary qualification e.g. Diploma/Degree etc. Verification of educational qualifications is typically acquired within 2 – 5 working days (With exceptions).
Drivers License Check
This is a non-negotiable if the person that is potentially being hired is required to drive a vehicle in the role. Numerous types of driver’s license can be checked from a passenger, truck to a forklift. Make sure that the potential employee has the necessary requirements to perform his/her job function. Verification of license is typically acquired within 48 – 72 hours.
Consumer Credit Check
First thing an employer needs to do before considering a Consumer Credit Check on a potential employee is to make sure that they comply with the National Credit Act.
The definition in an employment context is; A consumer credit check/record (means the record of debt repayment history). Please note, that the consumer credit record may not be accessed by a person within an employment context unless the potential employer certifies that the request for a consumer credit records relates to a position requiring honesty in the handling of cash or finances.
Hence, a person/company requesting a consumer credit check for the purpose of pre-employment screening of a prospective employee must provide evidence that the position requires honesty in the handling of cash or finances. In this regard, an employer must provide a job description detailing why the position requires honesty in the handling of cash or finances and this must have a direct correlation to the request for a consumer credit check. Consumer credit checks are typically acquired within 1 – 2 hours.