6 checks that you should be performing on candidates before you hire them!

May 17, 2018


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pre-employment screeningThe single biggest threat to any company is its employees.

Machiavellian behaviour can impact a company or tarnish its reputation with devastating results. So why take the risk? By implementing rigorous background screening policies, you can largely avoid the risk of the “bad hire”.

Here are the most effective pre-employment screening tools available – all of which are services offered by Uphando.

1.    Criminal record checks

The first check you should do on a potential new employee is a criminal record check.

Remember to hire a reputable company, like Uphando, to do this.

You can do an identity book check and a finger print check. But take note that checking finger prints could be a costly exercise so only check finger prints if you absolutely need to.

We recommend that you always check every new candidate for criminal records or pending court appearances.

If you find a record that has a criminal background, request the full details from the vendor performing the verification.  Before you reject a candidate for having a criminal record, keep in mind that the criminal act he has a record for may have been for a minor incident going back years and this may actually have no real bearing on the position you want to hire him for.

2.    Credit checks

Use credit checks to assist you with profiling a candidate. This is the most important step in the process because when a candidate’s credit check shows he has a history of poor payments, loans or blacklistings, he’s not good with handling money. So if the job that you want to hire him for involves handling money, he might be tempted to help himself as he is probably short of funds.

3.    Driver’s licence checks

Obviously, these checks are non-negotiable when you need to employ or place a driver. Your vendor should be able to verify your applicant’s driver’s licence in about 48/72 hours.

4.    Educational qualifications

Fortunately, South Africa has one of the most comprehensive qualifications registries in the world, thanks largely to the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA). The body has developed a national database of learners’ records.

5.    Personality Profiling

In our previous posts, we demonstrated the importance of personality profiling. The incumbent’s personality could be one of the main reasons for their success or failure in the company. Desired characteristics vary by position. Hundreds of companies use testing to take advantage of existing staff strengths and avoid personality-based conflicts. And though there are a myriad of test instruments to choose from, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) remains the standard-bearer of all personality assessments.

6.    Reference checks

Reference checks are the most commonly-used tool for screening. However, very few people actually know who they are talking to. As a rule of thumb, don’t put too much emphasis on references that only have a cellphone number.  Rather try and get company names and speak to the highest-ranking person there.

Screening is a critical component of the hiring process, and should not be done in a half-hearted manner. Your company’s future could hinge on your next hiring decision.


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