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Screening of Residential Estate Employees Essential for Security of Homeowners

Aside from the abundant lifestyle incentives and quality amenities, one of the key attractions of residential estates is the level of security they provide homeowners.

In South Africa, a country with one of the highest crime rates in the world, citizens who can afford the luxury of estate living find comfort in knowing that their properties and loved ones are protected from criminal activity. With security being a top priority, it is important to ensure that not only is the property well secured but also that the estate employees pose no risk.

Rudi Kruger, General Manager: Data Services at LexisNexis South Africa says that it is for this reason that priority should be placed on screening of all residential estate employees.

Background screening helps management make informed decisions by improving transparency and disclosure. It is imperative that estate security management run verification checks on all employees to protect residents from criminals in disguise, who could potentially use their positions to invade the personal space of unsuspecting residents

– Rudi Kruger

Background screening checks that would be of relevance include:

ID verification:

Verifying a candidate’s identify is one of the most important checks to conduct as it establishes whether a person is really who they say they are. It is possible for candidates to use fake identity documents if they have something to hide like having illegally entered the country or identity theft.

Criminal checks:

A criminal check is an essential practice during the recruitment process as it helps raise red-flags before a job offer is made. Criminal checks conducted on a potential new employee help the employer truly understand the candidate’s potential for dangerous behaviour and other forms of criminal activity. Criminal checks can uncover any history of illicit activity, past convictions and misdemeanours. A candidate with a history of criminal activity can be considered a risk to residents because they are capable of repeat behaviour. Criminal checks also assist in detecting dishonest and untrustworthy characters, who may have excluded their criminal backgrounds from the application.

Qualification checks:

Qualification misinterpretations may assist the candidate with appearing more qualified for the job. However, once hired – their failure to perform on the job can quickly turn disastrous for the employer, particularly in the security sector where skills and the ability to think on one’s feet are highly prized. By screening the candidate’s qualifications, hiring managers will be in a better position to assess the candidate on merit, prior to offering employment.

In addition to protecting residents, screening employees can help protect the reputation of estates.

Residential estates are prestigious but the market is competitive. Estates take great effort to create and maintain their reputations. A negative incident involving an employee could seriously damage the reputation of the estate. Employers should therefore avoid employing candidates who have the potential to tarnish the company’s reputation, whether intentionally or unintentionally. Nobody can predict the future – but an evaluation of a candidate’s history will provide an idea of their integrity and credibility

– Rudi Kruger, General Manager: Data Services at LexisNexis South Africa

Kruger added that the following checks should also be included to form a complete picture of the candidate:

 Fraud Listing
 Employment History
 Driver’s License
 Bank Verification
 Business Background Search
 Professional Driving Permit
 Citizenship verification
 Work Permits
 Permanent Residency

With the assistance of Lexis® RefCheck, a hiring manager is better equipped when it comes to the hiring of estate employees thereby limiting risk. 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.

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