'There are no secrets in life; just hidden truths that lie beneath the surface.'Michael C Hall
When hiring new employees into an organisation, promoting staff from within or in dealing with external vendors and temporary contractors; the very last issue one expects to have to factor into the recruitment equation is fraud. Yet, as will be revealed, the initial phase of the hiring process can be a critical point at which any potential red flags can be identified; since, the consequences of falling victim to fraud can have serious repercussions in terms of the risks and costs associated with fraud.
Effective employee screening engages in appropriate measures that typically involve an identity check, criminal record check, verification of Matric or senior certificate education and the substantiation of tertiary education qualifications. Fraudcheck is dedicated to providing relevant information in mitigating risks against fraud, the various ways to identify fraud; and, in particular, is focussed on creating awareness around the many types and ways in which identity fraud is perpetrated.
An insight into what lies beneath the surface of falsified tertiary qualifications could have saved Passenger Rail Agency South Africa (Prasa) millions of rands. A Trade Union Solidarity report released in September 2015 highlights the involvement of the Agency’s Chief Engineer, Daniel Mtimkulu, in the corrupt tender that sent things off the rails for Prasa when R620 million was wasted on unsuitable locomotives imported from Spain. Prasa disclosed that Mtimkulu had been suspended due to the fact that “he lacked the necessary qualifications”. Amongst other things, Mtimkulu claimed to have obtained a Ph.D degree from a German university which turned out to be false.
The alarming truth is that if fraud is happening at a State level, it stands to reason that it often filters into the private sector. Employee screening aims to protect all stakeholders of a business, including employers, employees, customers and shareholders. In February 2014, PriceWaterhouseCoopers released its annual Global Economic Crime Survey that revealed the shocking prevalence of economic crime. The report stated that South African businesses are more affected by fraud, bribery and corruption than their global counterparts.
Such findings reveal that the greatest fraud threat to companies emanates from within.
The results of the survey also indicate that one in three executives stated that high staff turnover was the main driver of increased exposure to fraud, which often resulted in businesses being saddled with costly and unnecessary lawsuits.
Determining whether a prospective employee has previously engaged in violent crime or been convicted of theft can prevent possible violence in the workplace and mitigate the risks of theft.
In terms of South African legislation, before a background check can be carried out on any prospective employee, permission to do so must be granted by the individual concerned. By providing accurate, timeous information, Fraudcheck is committed to preventing the risks and costs associated with fraud.
While the ever vigilant efforts of South African Fraud Protection Services (SAFPS) remain anchored against fraud, the introduction of the new Smart Card ID system also helps to reduce incidents of identity fraud and theft. The bigger picture becomes even more interesting as further Kroll statistics reveal more of what lies beneath the surface. 2500 hiring managers found that 56% of applicants lie on their applications. It has also been established that over 50% of job applications contain inaccurate information, 40% include a falsified qualification and 35% feature falsified work history.
Despite an ongoing prevalence of fraud and while fraudsters continue to search for what lies beneath the surface of newer and even more cunning ways to lie and cheat their way into the system, Fraudcheck continually strives to provide its clients with a full range of fraud prevention services. Take the opportunity to safeguard your business against fraud in revealing the hidden truths behind employee background checks.
Sources of statistical references: iFacts Employee Screening Handbook