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Background Screening Personal Due Diligence Pre-Employment Checks

DUE DILIGENCE – IS IT AN IMPORTANT HR FUNCTION?

DUE DILIGENCE – IS IT AN IMPORTANT HR FUNCTION?

By Kyle Condon

Definition of Due Diligence:

“Due diligence is the investigation or exercise of care that a reasonable business or person is expected to take before entering into an agreement or contract with another party, or an act with a certain standard of care. It can be a legal obligation, but the term will more commonly apply to voluntary investigations”. {Wikipedia 16 January 2020, at 12:53 (UTC)}

What is important when conducting due diligence in HR:

It is in any company’s interest to conduct due diligence whether it is employing potential candidates or signing legal documents with potential vendors and/or partners.

Below are some important points to look into when conducting due diligence:

Recruitment process:

Recruitment of potential employees essentially starts when an add is placed for a vacancy to be filled. Listed below are some of the points that should be looked into when considering potential candidates:

  • Are there any spelling mistakes made on the CV?
  • Does the ID number reflecting on the CV correspond with the ID number reflecting on the ID document?
  • Does the ID belong to the candidate?
  • Are there any employment gaps and, if so, why?
  • What is the candidate’s residential address – this would be important to look into when it comes to the candidate’s ability to travel to and from work on a daily basis.
  • Is the candidate over qualified for the position advertised?

It would always be in the company’s best interest to conduct criminal record checks, qualification verifications, past employment/reference checks, credit bureau searches and ID verifications before employing a potential candidate in order to ensure that there is no substantial information found.

Employee personnel files:

It will always be beneficial to the company to have updated employee personnel files on current and past employees. Below are some important points to keep on file:

  • A copy of the employee’s ID, CV and qualification certificates.
  • Any background screening verification reports i.e. criminal record reports, qualification verifications, past employment/reference checks and credit bureau searches etc.
  • The signed contractual agreement between the company and the employee, this would include the contractual agreements between the company and temporary employees.
  • Salary details, including any increases, bonuses etc.
  • The employee’s positions held in the company i.e. was the employee ever demoted or promoted.
  • Record should be kept of the amount of leave days requested and how frequently leave is requested.
  • Record should also be kept of any disciplinary action taken against employees, this would include notes of verbal warning, written warnings and/or disciplinary hearing minutes and outcomes.
  • Record should also be kept on the employee’s time keeping, performance etc.

The above information would come in handy should another company request to conduct a past employment/reference check or when the candidate’s performance is reviewed.

Due diligence into potential vendors:

What to look into when considering to enter into a business relationship with an outside vendor:

  • Is the company registered?
  • Are any of the directors/members politically compromised?
  • Does the company’s registration number exist?
  • Does the company’s VAT registration number exist?
  • Does the company have an official email address and landline number that is registered to the company?
  • Does the company have a registered address (a site visit would be recommended at this stage in order to ascertain if the company runs its business out of a residential address or if they have an actual office building?
  • Be very aware when gmail or yahoo email addresses are provided.
  • What is the company’s annual turnover?
  • Does the company have a high staff turnover?
  • Does the company have any reputable trade references?
  • Is there any negative reviews or media content available?

It has been and will always be beneficial for any company to conduct due diligence before employing a potential candidate or forming a business relationship with another company as this would ensure that the company is aware of what they are getting into.

Call me for further information pertaining to our due diligence services.

Kyle Condon

Owner

Searchlight Background Screening & Criminal Record Checks

082 820 5363

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Background Screening Personal Due Diligence Pre-Employment Checks

IMPORTANCE OF COMPREHENSIVE PRE-EMPLOYMENT BACKGROUND SCREENING

IMPORTANCE OF COMPREHENSIVE PRE-EMPLOYMENT BACKGROUND SCREENING

By Kyle Condon

In the fast-paced world we live in today, employers often overlook the importance of conducting risk-based pre-employment screening checks. These include

Criminal Record checks, Credit Bureau checks, Past Employment Reference checks and Qualification Verifications, to name a few. If these essential pre-employment screening steps are “skipped” during the employment process – or if the checks are done in a half-hearted manner – employers run the risk of employing candidates with a history of fraud and other criminal activities unbeknownst to them.

Below are some of the concerns employers have when approached with the idea of implementing risk-based pre-employment screening on protentional candidates:

Is background screening of potential candidates legal?

Employers have every right to conduct background screening checks on protentional candidates, provided that they have obtained the written consent from the candidate. It is in the employer’s best interest to ensure that they are hiring the candidate best suited to the position.

Would employers lose “good” candidates when asking for their consent to run background checks?

No. Any “good” candidate would be more than willing to give written, signed consent to have the required checks conducted as they would not have anything to hide.

It would be a tell-tale sign that a candidate has something to hide, should they refuse or become uncomfortable when asked to sign and give written consent for background screening checks to be conducted.

Would background screening be a waste of money?

The cost of conducting risk-based background screening checks will most likely cost less than the financial damage that one poor hiring decision can cause.

By conducting risk-based pre-employment screening checks before employing a potential candidate, the employer is given an “overview” of who they are really employing i.e.:

  • Does the candidate have any existing financial difficulties (which are often a precursor to fraud)?
  • Is there any fraudulent information reflecting on their CV’s (not often picked up by the untrained eye)?
  • Does the candidate find it difficult to adhere to the law?

It is, therefore, of utmost importance that employers conduct risk-based pre-employment screening checks on each and every potential candidate, whether it be a permanent employee or a contractor, before employment is offered.

Call me for further information pertaining to our comprehensive pre-employment background screening services.

Kyle Condon

Owner

Searchlight Background Screening & Criminal Record Checks

 

For more information, contact Kyle Condon on 082 820 5363 / saint@intrigue.co.za.

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DUE DILIGENCE AND THE IMPORTANCE OF OPEN SOURCE INTELLIGENCE (OSINT)

DUE DILIGENCE AND THE IMPORTANCE OF OPEN SOURCE INTELLIGENCE (OSINT)

By Kyle Condon

The power and importance of well executed Open Source Intelligence, combined with comprehensive Due Diligence, has become a critical weapon in the ongoing fight against commercial crime and fraud.

Our private commercial investigation sector obtains about 70% of its Intelligence content from Open Source Intelligence (OSINT).

The evolution of the internet and the emergence of new intelligence gathering mechanisms has given birth to a whole new universe of information. Investigators, Security Practitioners and Risk Consultants now need to navigate this plethora of information to prevent crimes and secure evidence for prosecution, profiling and risk mitigation.

Due Diligence, though, remains the cornerstone of a comprehensive risk mitigation portfolio. Yet it is far too frequently ignored in the quest for hasty position filling, fast contract negotiations and speedy tender acceptance.

The seasoned Investigator or Loss Control Professional is often bypassed in the company’s blinding pursuit of “Contract Signed Syndrome”. This often results in devastating losses through scammers and experienced fraudsters.

Kyle Condon, Grad of Institute of Security (SA) is a 30-year veteran in the field of Due Diligence and Commercial Loss Control Investigations. He is the owner of D&K Management Consultants, one of Southern Africa’s leading forensic and commercial crime investigation companies.

Kyle is a recognised authority in the field of investigations and is regularly requested to present his insights at conferences, both locally and internationally.

Kyle is the current Regional Director of Africa for the CII (Council of International Investigators) and has also been awarded the Gold Membership status for SASA (South African Security Association).

 

For more information, contact Kyle Condon on saint@intrigue.co.za.

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Background Screening Personal Due Diligence Pre-Employment Checks

PRE-EMPLOYMENT BACKGROUND SCREENING AND THE HR MANAGER

PRE-EMPLOYMENT BACKGROUND SCREENING AND THE HR MANAGER

By Kyle Condon

Today’s Human Resources departments find themselves under intense pressure to “speed up” the hiring process and get vacant positions filled at a lightning pace. In fact, so much so that the “microwave society” HR personal operate within has become a department less focused on intricate detail before hiring, and more focused on the business continuity… but at what cost?

Ask any HR Director/Manager worth their salt about the changes in their industry or department over the past 20 years and you will quickly be told about how executives or clients want posts filled today… not tomorrow.

The reality, though, is that the days of CVs being honest portfolios of a potential candidate’s past are long gone. A “good gut feeling” simply cannot be used as a hiring factor any longer.

The Internet of Things has changed the world forever and with it the way in which we hire and run background checks on people. I could never argue that the internet is an excellent background screening tool. I will argue that, when used by those who don’t really understand the investigation side of internet mining, the information found will be minimal, often plain useless and insufficient to make any real informed decisions on hiring or entering into employment contracts.

However, fortunately HR is now able to tap into support partners whose full-time specialist skills encompass comprehensive background screening and vetting – companies that completely understand the importance of criminal record searches, OSINT mining, credit references, fraud register searches, media searches and qualification verification. Better yet, these services are all performed within a fraction of the time that most HR departments can gain reliable knowledge about candidates.

A background screening firm such as Searchlight Background Screening and Criminal Record Checks performs over a thousand criminal record checks in South Africa every year, and each one is completed within 48 hours.

Consider also that significant differences exist between standard database searches and those databases that require a license to access, and it becomes far clearer why HR managers and departments can no longer afford not to partner with a specialist background screening company.

As a reminder, it is important for me to point out that (contrary to what many brokers and firms say) there is only one 100% way to accurately check for criminal records, past convictions or pending cases – and that is via the scanning of a candidate’s fingerprint.

Our licensed fingerprint scanning department can legally check the applicant’s fingerprint against the South African Police Service record database and submit reports back to the HR department within 48 hours.

Remember, relying on criminal record checks based solely on Identity Numbers is very risky. Especially in a country where Identity Theft is rife!

Imagine the liability claims and disservice a company is doing to its employees if an act of workplace violence takes place, after a half-hearted background check performed by an unqualified person did not pick up the attacker’s previous convictions for similar cases…

Take the time to form a relationship with a professional, licensed background screening and vetting firm, it will be a very worthwhile investment.

For more information, contact Kyle Condon on saint@intrigue.co.za.

 

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