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The latest NDPP scandal highlights the importance of doing proper background checks

by , 03 June 2014
The National Prosecuting Authority is in the news again for all the wrong reasons.

Last week, it emerged that Mxolisi Nxasana, the National Director of Public Prosecutions didn't get a security clearance because of past brushes with the law.

This includes being tried for murder about 30 years ago, being arrested for 'careless driving and refusing arrest' last September as well as being fined R2 000 about 12 years ago and suspended for three years by the KZN Law Society for misconduct.

The Democratic Alliance, as well as the Institute of Security Studies, have questioned how President Jacob Zuma could have hired someone in such a high position without doing proper background checks.

While newly appointed Justice Minister, Michael Masutha, tries to deal with the fallout, this scandal has once again cast the spotlight on the importance of doing proper background checks.

Here's what you need to do when doing background checks to avoid a similar situation.


The A-Z of legal recruitment

  • Did you know there are 11 legal requirements for recruitment?
  • Do you know how the Employment Equity Act affects your job advertisement?
  • Do you know what checks you can legally conduct on an applicant?
  • Are you sure your employment contract includes the 16 clauses the law says you must have?

If you don't have all of these aspects correct, you'll be on the wrong side of the law when it comes to your recruitment process.


Do the following when doing background checks on employees

You must conduct background checks before you hire a new employee.

When President Zuma and his advisors were considering recruiting the NPA boss, they should have done the following:

  • ID number verification;
  • Driver's licence verification;
  • Criminal record checks;
  • Credit checks;
  • Qualification verification;
  • Company links;
  • Checking property ownership; and
  • Vehicle ownership information.

These are the things you MUST check when doing background checks on a potential employee. It's the only way to avoid nasty surprises later on.

Just make sure you only check job-related information so you don't get in trouble with labour law.

We also recommend you use this tip when doing background checks


Cut your recruitment time in half

Would you like 98 out of 100 of your job applicants to be the right ones for the job? Cut out endless hours spent wading through irrelevant CVs with one easy step… here's how…


Get permission before you do background checks

The Practical Guide to Human Resources Management says it's a good idea to get permission from the candidate to conduct background checks.

Make the permission statement a part of your application forms so the candidate can give you permission to look into his past employment and background.

There you have it. Make sound recruitment decisions by doing background checks on potential employees. It's the only way to avoid the situation government is currently in.

Find out more about the A-Z of legal recruitment


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