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Employee screening for start-ups
Start-up ventures have become a common addition to the South African markets in recent years. With President Cyril Ramaphosa’s declaration to offer more support to small businesses, this type of operation will likely continue its upward trajectory in the coming years.
As the sector gains momentum, entrepreneurs are urged to ensure their recruitment efforts are well thought out, says Rudi Kruger, General Manager of LexisNexis Data Services.
“Start-ups are created to address specific needs, so while this type of venture has large potential for growth, the markets can be fickle and success is not always guaranteed,” he said. “Adding to that, the wrong hire can have damaging effects on any company, but for start-ups bringing the wrong candidate into the fold can be fatal to its future.”
Often, due the unpredictable nature of such businesses, start-up companies choose to look at active job-seekers rather than passive candidates when opening their doors to new hires. The benefit of active job seekers is that they are more flexible and are more likely to take chances on new, exciting endeavours and are often able to fill available positions immediately.
However, due to the fledging status attached to start-ups, many businessowners forgo the necessary background checks when hiring, choosing to rely on methods such as referrals from personal or work connections. But when it comes to the start-up hiring process, Kruger said using big business mentality is of optimal importance.
“A start-up is a company with small beginnings looking to expand into big business. With the right planning, a start-up can easily cement its place among other established businesses. This is when the hiring process becomes critical. It is important to note that not every active candidate is available for the right reasons. An employee with suspicious past behaviours can be damaging to the growth of a young business, and this is something start-ups looking to build trustworthy reputations should be wary of,” Kruger said.
Start-ups are often cashed strapped entities, making possible failures fatal and the right hire all the more essential. In addition, start-up teams tend to be small, with one employee taking on numerous roles. One bad hire can therefore have a ripple effect on the company. “Unverified client-facing employees for example, pose a threat to a fledgling company’s reputation, while employees working within the inner systems of the business holding sensitive finance information can be detrimental to the company’s pockets,” said Kruger. “It is important for start-up owners to remember that a fledgling business is in a vulnerable position due to the learning process everyone is going through. This makes it easier for suspect behaviours to slip through the cracks and go unnoticed. It is best to run a background check on every employee.”
With the assistance of Lexis® RefCheck a background screening toll from LexisNexis Data Services, start-ups will be more equipped when it is time to hire a team that can be entrusted with growing a small business. Lexis RefCheck services include verification of tertiary and secondary academic qualifications held by the individual from registered local and international institutions; identity and South African citizenship validation; fraud history checks via the South African Fraud Prevention Services; credit history checks through detailed TransUnion and Experian credit bureau reports; criminal history check via AFISwitch (electronic fingerprint collection and processing); verification of local and international employment history and professional association membership; and matching of bank account against an identity number or registration number.