Times are tough, and the local job market continues to have a rather bleak outlook. Stats SA recently reported that the official unemployment rate increased by 0,5 of a percentage point, sitting at 27,2% when compared to stats for Q1 2018.
According to Pine Pienaar, MD of Afiswitch, this reality faced by citizens calls for both job seekers and employers to ensure they know who they are dealing with.
Says Pienaar: “A relatively high unemployment rate, like that of South Africa’s, is something that can be seen by opportunists – to exploit those either seeking work or those hiring, especially part time help.”
Be alert – don’t fall victim
When times are tough and job opportunities are few and far between, job seekers can often find themselves in a desperate situation to find any sort of work that will see them earn an income.
“With the growth of the Internet and online job placements, citizens today have many options available to them in seeking work,” says Pienaar. “But how do these job seekers know who they are dealing with and if the job post/listing is in fact real and not a scam?”
Fake job listings are a reality that citizens seeking work must be cognisant of and take measures to ensure they don’t fall victim. “It is always advisable to use an accredited recruitment agency when seeking work, to avoid such a scenario. Though, if this route is not possible, then undertaking thorough research on the organisation one is applying for a job at becomes key.”
On the other side of the spectrum, those seeking support and offering jobs should also practice caution – to fake candidate applications or false employee information – especially in a tougher economic environment with many people competing for the same limited number of available jobs.
“Nearly 20% of all job seekers represent a degree of risk. And in our experience, small businesses are particularly vulnerable. Those responsible for employing people in their home or business must make sure they do the due diligence, or risk making a bad hiring decision,” states Pienaar.
The importance of previous conviction enquiry checks
Background screening and very importantly, previous conviction enquiries, should be considered as prominent tools for anyone hiring today.
“With a large unemployment rate comes the risk of false information being provided or ‘sold’, in an aim to secure a much-needed job. While there may be times where the applicant may not be malicious or intend any harm to their potential employer, there are of course deliberate cases of non-disclosure, which could pose high risk to the employer,” adds Pienaar.
A Police Clearance Certificate can be obtained from the South African Police Service, while other methods of certification, namely Fingerprint Search Clearance Certificates, are issued by Afiswitch and their recognised service providers. Undertaking such checks can ensure that accurate and up to date previous conviction or case awaiting trial information is received timely, which in turn can support making a more informed and risk adverse decision.
“Using such preventative measures supports in the process of enhancing safety and security while verifying the individual. In tougher economic times, where jobs are not readily available, job seekers as well as employers must be careful and undertake the required research or invest in available processes to ensure they know exactly who they are dealing with,” concludes Pienaar.