The Value of Candidate Background Checks in South Africa

Check, check and verify again!

When you are looking at senior level talent in the supply chain industry, you could be forgiven for thinking that doing a background check is unnecessary. Perhaps even insulting. Surely an individual does not get to a senior position without having checks done before? Or, if their qualification was fraudulent, how would they have to the senior level in the first place?​

Well, think again! It is well worth paying the money to get a thorough background check on any shortlisted candidates. Not only for your own peace of mind, but also due to the fact that an unscrupul​ous candidate with fraudulent claims can cost your company dearly, in terms of reputation, litigation, finance an​d in some cases, human life or injury.

Source: (photostock)​

You can have many different checks done, and some will be more important for certain positions than others – for example, the driver's license verification for someone who is taking on the role of driver in a company! You can verify a matriculation pass or exemption, you can perform a credit check and you can also perform a criminal and tertiary education check.

Verify your candidate's claims – or pay the price!

Fraudulent certificates, diplomas, and degrees are a problem in South Africa, with more candidates trying to secure jobs using fake qualifications. EMPS, a company which provides background screening services, said it has found that 7.62% of all qualifications verified by it in 2015 were "problematic" – compared to 6.8% in 2014.

Some people do indeed, have the qualification they say they do, but they might lie about their marks (say they achieved better than they did) or profess to have completed subjects that they did not. Then, there are the more sinister 'degree mills' or people who simply state that they have a qualification that they do not, in the hope they will not be found out.

According to Ina van der Merwe, director and CEO of screening company Managed Integrity Evaluation (MEI), qualification fraud particularly has increased by 200% in the last 5 years. This ranges from 'bought' degrees from a degree mill to proclaimed degrees with no physical or recorded evidence. Some of the culprits even claiming qualifications at MBA level, Masters and PhD level in highly skilled or technical disciplines!

Unfortunately, our media abounds with stories of high level government officials or directors in large, national corporations who have lied about their matric, their degrees or their post graduate qualifications. This behaviour discredits the individual, the organisation they work for and the country and national morale as a whole.

There is help at hand

So, it is very wise to avoid this risk and do the background checks! It is not all doom and gloom! The South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) is comprehensive. And if your favourite candidate does come up with a problem upon verification, it can be worth investigating further, as ID theft is another problem to contend with, and mistakes also do get made! To assist in curbing this phenomenon, UNISA, the University of Pretoria, the University of Johannesburg and the University of Cape Town have all made it clear that they will prosecute people who falsely claim to have degrees issued by other institutions.

Foreign Nationals and Qualifications

When considering a candidate who is not South African, or who gained their qualification in another country, it can be even more important to do the qualification check, as many people assume it is too much trouble and won't be done, giving them carte blanche to proclaim qualifications they might not actually have. It is also very beneficial to find out what the equivalent level qualification is in South Africa, as terminology differs in different countries, and you need to know what level the candidates' qualification is at.

Take all the stress away!

There is another way to take the hassle out of background checks! When you use a specialist recruitment agency such as Tech-Pro, this is often done for you. At Tech-Pro, we focus solely on supply chain roles and we are affiliated with credible bodies within the SCM and recruitment industries. This gives the team a deep understanding of your requirements, and no one is put forward for any position whatsoever without having completed and successfully passed through extensive background checks.

Tech-Pro is affiliated with SAPICS and SmartProcurement and is a member of both the Association of Personnel Service Organisations (APSO) and the Confederation of Associations in the Private Employment Sector (CAPES).

Contact us for verified and top candidates in supply chain, procurement, logistics, planning and consulting.