Why screen potential candidates

September 2008 Security Services & Risk Management

EMPS, South Africa's oldest screening company and leader in Workforce Integrity Solutions, released its list of the top reasons why conducting employee background checks are essential.

The list details the reasons why companies in all industries and of all sizes need to make background checks a standard practice in their hiring process.

1. Pre-employment verification checks increase the quality of candidates employed.

It is sad, but a rather scary reality that many applicants are not honest on their CV or the company application form. Common un-truths include exaggerating experience and skills, fabricating educational qualifications, excluding negative information or changing dates. References provided are friends or previous colleagues, instead of previous management. By taking a little bit of time to do a complete CV verification, the employer can validate the accuracy of the information provided by the candidate. This process may include a variety of checks from pre-employment references to qualification verifications. These kinds of checks provide insight and knowledge not easily established in an interview.

2. Reduce time wasted in disciplinary and CCMA

Using an applicant's CV as the only means by which you make your hiring decision can lead to hiring an unsuitable or high risk candidate. Putting certain checks and balances in place will ensure you identify the most capable person and ultimately reduce turnover rates and discipline issues. By taking referencing back a little further, companies will be able to establish a pattern of unstable work history, if there is one.

3. Reduce losses caused by high-risk applicants

By investigating an applicant's criminal history, companies can identify those that are likely to engage in theft or dishonest acts, both of which are affecting the South African workplace in all industries.

4. Do not put the company reputation at risk

It is due diligence in today's hiring environment to have good hiring policies in place. Companies can become legally responsible for negligent hiring. Just an invalid driver's licence can lead to legal litigation, ruined reputation and extreme costs for a company.

5. Get better productivity from your workforce

By doing vigilant screening, potential candidates and employees can see the culture of the organisation. Current employees and clients can see the effort taken to employ quality staff. A satisfied and competent workforce creates a more stable and successful work environment.

Taking the time for due diligence in the beginning of the hiring process can save the company in time, risk and reputation as well as improve quality and output in the long term.

For more information contact Kirsten Halcrow, managing director, Employers' Mutual Protection Service, +27 (0)11 678 0807, kirstenh@emps.co.za, www.emps.co.za

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