The benefits of employee screening

Clamp down on dodgy appointments to reduce fraud and corruption in the workplace.
Contributed by iFacts — Removing your people risk

Following the Sunday Times exposé in October that South Africa’s High Commissioner to Singapore, Hazel Francis Ngubeni, has a colourful past as a drug smuggler, industry experts are commentating on what may be going wrong with our country’s vetting procedures for high profile positions.

However, Jenny Reid, CEO of iFacts, believes that the problem may not lie with the screening and vetting procedures themselves, but with the fact that appointments are made dishonestly, based on cronyism and cover-ups. No one who has spent two years behind bars in the USA for smuggling cocaine would ever pass any sort of effective vetting or screening process. The problem lies more with the unnamed or anonymous political leader who is said to have nominated her for the position in the first place.

When it comes to employee screening in South Africa, keeping the bad apples out when hiring, can actually safeguard the future of your organisation. It’s been said that an organisation is only as good as its most powerful asset, and for most organisations today, that asset is human capital. While most HR professionals and business owners envision a dream team of productive employees to keep the business running, the biggest problem with human resources is that they are, human. Sometimes even the most qualified, experienced and hardworking candidate may not be a right fit for your organisation, so imagine the repercussions of making a few bad hiring decisions.

Employee Background Screening has gained momentum worldwide as a crucial, necessary and acceptable facet of the recruitment process. The unfortunate truth is that hiring one or two unsuitable candidates can have a detrimental impact on the efforts of an otherwise productive and hardworking team, impacting business profitability, worker morale, productivity and client service.

The growing need for Employee Screening
Some of the most common problems associated with failing to implement Employee Background Screening include hiring employees who are not appropriately qualified, have lied about their past work experience or the reasons for leaving a previous employer and, finally, recruiting individuals with a criminal history or a reputation for siphoning funds from their employers.

So why is the need for employment background screening and vetting on the rise? Reid believes this to be a consequence of the current state of the global economy and the growing unemployment rate. Job seekers unable to find work due to a lack of experience or qualifications, end up making fraudulent claims on their CVs to increase their chances of securing an interview with a potential employer.

Simultaneously, business owners and HR professionals are under growing pressure to find efficient candidates quickly and easily from a large pool of candidates. So if the CV looks good and the candidate dazzles in the interview, one may be tempted to hire based on good faith rather than a scientific screening process.

Legal and practical implementation
Employee Background Screening is actually a quick and simple automated process that can be outsourced to a third-party screening services company, such as iFacts, which offers a range of services that extend into every aspect of proactive and reactive screening for optimum employee performance, loyalty and integrity.

Employee Screening and Vetting is a legal and acceptable function of a company’s recruitment and employment process. Reid adds that of course anyone can refuse the process, but they are unlikely then to be seen as a viable candidate for employment.

Employers have a right to protect their own organisations and we consider it advisable to make Employee Screening part of the company culture. In addition to screening new employees, ongoing Employee Screening (also known as in-service screening) should take place on an annual basis. We recommend that companies create an Employee Screening Policy so that employees understand this to be a normal company procedure which not only protects their employer, but them as well. The negative impact of theft and fraud can bring an organisation to its knees and result in job losses, so these processes also protect people’s jobs.

Employees consent to the screening process by signing an Indemnity Form included in the application. This allows the Employer to do the necessary research on data that is not in the public domain, such as criminal records and credit history checks.

Screening Checks recommended by iFacts:
  • Identity verification
  • Criminal record checks
  • Integrity assessments
  • Past employment references
  • Qualification verifications
  • Driver’s license checks
Need screening assistance?
Contact iFacts to a assist with a full bouquet of services that will ensure that the workers you choose to employ are an asset to your business and not a liability. Visit or email