Managed Integrity Evaluation (MIE) has published its annual Background Screening index, which shows how companies make use of background checks to screen potential job candidates. One of the largest challenges which recruitment professionals face is the risk of candidates misrepresenting their professional, criminal and academics histories to secure work.

Speaking to BusinessTech, Jennifer Barkhuizen, head of communications at MIE, said that this can add more pressure to the recruitment process.

“This places added pressure on the recruitment process, and further underpins the need to accurately and reliably assess candidates before hiring commences, to ensure that the candidate is the right fit for an organisation, and that the necessary due diligence has taken place,” she said. “Not only are financial and reputational risks mitigated for the organisation, but undue pressure on recruitment budgets can be avoided.”

According to the index, the most requested sort of check remains background checks, and while the risk levels has dropped below 20% in 2020, it is expected to increase in 2021 as there is increased unemployment as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing lockdown.

“The high unemployment rate in South Africa, coupled with retrenchments and organisations closing their doors, will contribute to the many challenges job-seekers face with finding employment, and further emphasizes the importance of background screening vigilance on the part of those responsible for hiring decisions,” Barkhuizen said.

There has also been a 700% increase in social media check requests, and this focuses on negative comments made by the applicant on platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.

The report shows that:

  1. 46% of negative content is found on Facebook;
  2. 43% of negative content is found on Twitter;
  3. 11% of negative content is found through a web search/Google

Picture: Pixabay

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Lucinda is a hard news writer who occasionally dabbles in lifestyle writing, and recent journalism graduate. She is a proud intersectional feminist, and is passionate about actively creating a world which is free of discrimination and inequality.