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Should you use expert background checkers?

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In South Africa’s skilled labour talent pool, there are many candidates who can take your business to new heights and flourish in positions that require advanced knowledge and capabilities.
On the opposite end of the spectrum are candidates who appear promising but fail to deliver despite impressive CVs and referrals. In the tentative world of recruitment, it is better to be safe than sorry during the critical recruitment phase.

Credibility is the key to successful recruitment, and it has been hot topic in the labour market recently, with appointments within government, corporate, academic and SMME organisations under the spotlight.

“Stressful economic conditions can see more candidates altering their CV to secure a position, making it more likely that candidates will exaggerate the truth on their application,” says Rudi Kruger, GM of LexisNexis Risk Management.

“Even more worrying is the dependability of reference checks based largely on information provided by past employers. This introduces several factors such as low recall or bias that render the process misleading and unreliable,” he adds.

Kruger suggests a two-fold approach to ascertaining credibility during the recruitment process: prioritising both the credibility of the actual candidate as well as the credibility of the recruiter, tools and methods used to conduct background checks.

For positions in which the employee will be responsible for financial tasks, leadership, products or services, he recommends that the recruitment process include a thorough background check in addition to a standard reference check.

Referring to some of the pitfalls of poor recruitment practices, Kruger highlighted the dangers of simply relying on information from past employers:

“Past employers can often restrict the amount of information they provide to avoid legal action. It is also common for managers to impose bias based on personal experience of their referral, whether positive or negative, and this jeopardises the overall subjectivity of the process,” he says.

With the results from such methods proving less reliable, recruiters should review their practices to ensure that candidates are rightly matched to the job.

“Credible recruiters sourcing talent from today’s labour force are leaning towards complete background checks with support from reliable and user-friendly solutions,” says Kruger.

The benefits of complete background checks include verification of academic qualifications, criminal activity, residency, professional memberships and credit history.

As specialists in risk management, LexisNexis offers RefCheck, a leading South African pre-employment and background screening solution that has redefined recruitment since launching in 2000. The online verification solution helps to automate the hiring process while ensuring a candidate meets a company’s employment standards.