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


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