iFacts Service Highlight – Criminal Record Checks
November 12, 2014
Some of the most high profile court cases this country has ever seen, have recently played out in our living rooms, giving South Africans for the first time, unprecedented access to the inner workings of our criminal justice system. But what becomes of the criminally convicted when they have been sentenced and served their time? Will they end up working for you?
It’s highly unlikely that anyone is ever going to hire Oscar Pistorius as a firearms instructor, or the N12 truck driver, whose poor conduct led to three deaths, as a company driver. But that’s easy. These are the people whose backgrounds have been exposed to us. What of those applicants knocking on your door today? Does the well dressed gentleman in his suit and tie have a history of violence? Does the charming lady applying for a position in your accounts department have a series of fraudulent activity charges against her?
You just never know. Appearances are deceiving, which is why criminal record checks are becoming part and parcel of the standard pre-employment screening process. At least 40% of CVs today are cushioned with false information. This is in no small a symptom of our rising unemployment rate. People are becoming desperate for employment and they’ll do anything to get the job – from a false qualification to a well-concealed criminal conviction.
Would you knowingly employ someone convicted of drunken driving as your company driver? Or a convicted fraudster as the company’s accountant? The chances are highly unlikely. Employers do have a legal duty to make reasonable inquiries about who they hire and to provide a safe workplace for all.
However, that’s not to say that you should exclude employees that have a criminal history, particularly if their prior convictions have nothing to do with the position that they are applying for. Each case should be looked at individually.
A comprehensive employee background check includes verification of qualifications and experience with other employers, as well as criminal record checks. A criminal record check is one of the most important components when it comes to background screening.
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