With the recent tragic death of Uyinene Mrwetyana, it came to light that the 42-year-old SAPO employee who confessed to the murder and rape of the 19-year old student at the Clareinch Post Office had a criminal record. A preliminary investigation by the service showed that he was initially appointed through a labour broker and there was no screening when temporary staff were hired in 2012. Apparently when he was made permanent in 2013, the man declared that he had no criminal record.

This article applies to all industries and to people who are tasked with the responsibility of ensuring that the right talent is acquired in the organization.

In this article, we will be looking at the 7 important pre-employment checks that every employer (depending on the nature and seniority of the position) should undertake, before signing on an applicant as an employee.

7 Important Pre-Employment Checks

Criminal Record Checks

Making a bad hire can prove costly for your business in wasted resources, damage to your reputation, and lower morale among your team. By conducting a criminal background check for employment as part of your screening process, you reduce the chances of bringing in an employee with a troubling criminal past. All too often, applicants provide false information in their resumes or job applications. In some cases, applicants may attempt to hide information about a criminal record. Failing to conduct a comprehensive search before hiring can expose your company to potential liability — a risk most business owners prefer not to take.

Making criminal background checks part of your hiring process is critical for protecting your customers, employees and vendors.” – globalverificationnetwork.com

A point to remember before rejecting a candidate based on a criminal record, consider the severity of the incident and whether or not it has a bearing on the position that you want to fill

Credit Checks

Credit checks will assist you with profiling the candidate, especially if the job that you want to hire him/her involves handling money.

Driver’s License Checks

A Driver’s License verification check is a non-negotiable if you want to employ a driver. Remember, if you are employing a Forklift Driver, you also need to verify the Forklift Driver’s License.

Educational Background Checks

When you are recruiting for a role that requires a certain qualification level, qualification checks need to be conducted.

Professional Registrations

If you want to employ a medical practitioner and they need to be registered with the HPCSA for example, you need to do a verification check to check if they are registered with the relevant professional body.

Employment Reference Checks

When doing employment reference checks, it is wise not to put too much emphasis on references that only have cell phone numbers. Rather try and get the company’s name and speak to the HR Department and they would be able to check on their system and confirm the reasons for leaving or if the person actually worked for that particular company.

Pre-Employment Medical Checks

From the viewpoint of an employer, ensuring that the workforce is both healthy and sufficiently fit to cope effectively with the demands of the job is crucial to productivity and, by extension, to profitability. Clearly, then, employing this type of screening procedure can prove to be an expense that is more than justified. Take the example of a person who is seeking a career as a firefighter. He or she can be required to carry heavy equipment, to wear equally heavy protective clothing and to endure high temperatures, while often working in confined spaces. Given that the lives of trapped victims and of colleagues can often depend upon the performance of a new recruit, establishing his or her state of health, strength, stamina and general fitness can be crucial, even before embarking on the training. For this purpose, a pre-employment medical represents a comparatively simple procedure with which to determine whether or not a prospective recruit has what it takes to meet the physical demands of the job.” – Impimed.co.za


From the pointers above it is clear the pre-employment checks are an important step when it comes to recruitment. One which cannot be skipped or taken lightly.

Our cloud based Human Resources Information System (HRIS) has a recruitment (E-Recruitment) Module which offers all the pre-employment checks that your business may require. For a free Demo of our HRIS, please click the link to our website and register www.nxusahr.co.za

For more information on this topic, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Article by: Phumzile Msiza

Published: 16 September 2019

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