The recruitment landscape is ever evolving, and the past two years have seen recruiters across all industries step up and respond to global challenges more rapidly than ever before.
“One of the most positive developments to come out of the past years has been the rapid adoption of technology as an enabler on many fronts,” says Jennifer Barkhuizen, head of communications at Managed Integrity Evaluation (MIE). “Companies had to re-evaluate how they do business and many people had to learn how to work, study, collaborate and connect in an online environment.”
This move towards technology has not been the only step forward in how companies do business – how they recruit for an evolved workforce has also changed, along with the way potential individuals are screened for available positions.
“There are two primary reasons for the need for change in the recruitment landscape,” explains Barkhuizen. “The first is that many industries are still facing a hiring crunch because of the economic challenges faced over the past two years. In saying this, we have seen an uptake in hiring starting to emerge. The second is an increasingly desperate pool of unemployed individuals looking for work. With the rising unemployment rate in South Africa, some people will go to any lengths to secure employment, including falsifying their qualifications, mispresenting their work experience, or hiding the fact that they have a criminal record.”
These factors make for an ever-increasing need for recruiters to ensure that they hire the correct people in the correct roles, the first time. Conducting thorough background screening on potential recruits is not only important – it is critical.
“MIE conducted close to 2,3-million background screening transactions during 2021,” says Barkhuizen. “The demand for these services has steadily increased over the past five years, and we expect this trend to continue in 2022.”
The 11th edition of MIE’s Background Screening Index sheds light on these trends and provides valuable insights into the background screening industry over the past year.
“Our most requested checks remain criminal record and qualification verification, but we have also seen a sharp increase in social media screening requests,” says Barkhuizen. “With well over 30 million social media users in South Africa – and with this number growing daily – social media screening is becoming more of a business imperative than ever before, taking into consideration the reputational risks the misuse of social media can cause to an organisation.”
This is encouraging and highlights the importance of conducting regular background screening pre- and post-employment. It also shows that more companies are committed to improving regulatory compliance, as well as mitigating reputational risk through incorrect hires.