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Follow these four easy steps to conduct legal background checks on new employees

by , 23 January 2015
One of the important steps of the recruitment process is to conduct thorough background checks.

But a background check isn't just about phoning a previous employer. There are other checks you must do.

And you can do them by following these four easy steps...

Conduct legal background checks in four easy steps

Step 1: Check credit history
If the job requires the person to work with money, this check is important. You don't want to hire a financial manager who can't manage money.
The Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf Service also warns that a poor credit history often means a high risk of fraud. There's potential the person will steal to cover his expenses. So don't overlook this check.
You can check the employee's credit history by applying to credit bureaus like TransUnion for a small fee.
If you find that a person has a poor credit history, but the job doesn't require him to work with money, use your discretion on whether you're comfortable employing him.
Step 2: Conduct a criminal record check
To do this check, contact the Criminal Record Centre and ask for information. Or you can ask your employee to apply for a police clearance certificate from their local police station.
If your employee doesn't know how to apply, tell him to:

  • Fill in an application form at the nearest police station;
  • Provide his fingerprints;
  • His full name and surname;
  • Date of birth;
  • Place of birth;
  • A copy of his ID document or passport; and
  • Pay R96 and provide proof for payment.

Your employee's local police station will then forward the complete application form to the Criminal Record Centre. The centre will then process the application and notify your employee when it's ready.

For more information on getting a police clearance certificate or on how to check your employee's criminal record yourself, call the SAPS on +27 (0) 12 393 3928 or email crc-nameclear@saps.gov.za.

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Step 3: Check qualifications

In this article, we explain that to verify an employee's qualifications, you can contact the record office of the relevant learning institution (university/university of technology, etc). You must have your employee's student number and year of qualification to do this.

Or you can go to the National Learners' Records Database at the South African Qualifications Authority to verify the qualification, says hrcentre.co.za. If you use this option, provide the following information:
  • Your employee's name.
  • ID number;
  • His qualification;
  • Name of institution; and
  • The date of qualification.

The South African Qualifications Authority takes between one to seven days to verify the qualification and they charge a fee. To get more information, email them at verifications@saqa.org.za.

Step 4: Verify your employee's driver's licence
To do this check, send the following details to the Department of Transport:
  • A copy of the applicant's ID;
  • A copy of his driver's licence;
  • A letter from him asking for the verification of the licence; and
  • His contact details.
To find two other ways you can u verify your employee's driver's licence, check out The Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf Service.
To make sure you hire the right person for the job, you need to do more than just phoning his previous employer. Follow these four steps to conduct legal background checks.

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