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Here's how to deal with the ever growing problem of fake qualifications

by , 28 November 2014
The SA Qualifications Authority (SAQA) says fake qualifications are a growing problem on the African continent. To deal with the problem, SAQA's chief executive, Joe Samuels, says they will be setting up a network in Africa to verify qualifications.

The organisation made these comments this week during a seminar on qualification fraud on the continent.

SAQA's statements ring true.

In recent months, we've seen a string of stories about high profile people who've lied about their qualifications.

But high profile people aren't the only ones lying. Your potential employees are probably doing it too.

And this brings us to the question: How do you deal with this growing problem?

You certainly can't pin all your hopes on SAQA's efforts. You must do something now and you must do it fast. Otherwise, you'll be duped and hire the wrong person for the job.

That's where we come in.

Here's what we recommend you do to deal with the problem of fake qualifications.

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Do the following to deal with the problem of fake qualifications

You must conduct background checks to deal with the ever growing problem of fake qualifications.
Your background checks should include verifying qualifications before you commit to employing the applicant.
You can either do this after a first interview or after a second interview if you follow a two step interview process. There are no hard and fast rules. The important thing is that you verify before you hire.
Bear in mind that you must conduct background checks on potential employees legally. If you don't, you could land up in the Labour Court or CCMA.
To be on the safe side, put a clause in your application forms that allows you to do background checks. Also make it clear that verifying qualifications is something you'll do.
And when you conduct your background checks, look for information about the requirements of the job and nothing else.
And while employers who don't verify employee qualifications often say this process is complex, we beg to differ.

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Verifying employee qualifications isn't that hard – follow this procedure to get the job done

Contact the record office of the relevant learning institution. Have the candidate's student number and year of qualification.
Institutions are very helpful and will give you the information you need if you have these details.
They'll help you verify when the candidate registered and give you the name of the diploma or degree he received. If the candidate didn't complete, they'll tell you this too.
Check out the Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf Service for more information on how to conduct background checks.
Bottom line: With all the lying going on, you can't afford not to conduct background checks. It's the only way to deal with the ever growing problem of fake qualifications.

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