Your background check: 4 scary stories on why it matters

Your background check: 4 scary stories on why it matters

It’s spooky season – the time of year for horror movies and scary stories. And while we might not have any good film recommendations or ghost stories, as recruiters, what we do have is background check horror stories. One of the scariest things we can imagine is hiring someone who puts your company or employees at risk. Why? Well, because:

  • 53% of all job applications include inaccurate information
  • 30% of failed businesses are a result of employee theft
  • 18% of violent crime is attributed to workplace violence

If that doesn’t scare you enough, here are some first-hand scary stories from the Job Crystal Crew to convince you not to skip the background check.

Scary Background Check Story 1:  Wanita’s Financial Fibber

“A candidate we had shortlisted had bad credit due to unpaid school fees. When questions, he insisted he had made the payments – they just weren’t reflecting. A call to the School Principal confirmed that this was not the case. He hadn’t paid any school fees for two children for about three years.”

Scary Background Check Story 2: Jemma’s Degree Deceiver

“We were running a standard qualification check for a candidate. The candidate had sent through a copy of their certificate, and everything seemed above board. That is, until the results came back and there were inconsistencies with the information. The university ended up sending a signed letter from the Dean to inform us that not only had the candidate not completed the degree in question, but they had never actually been registered with the university in the first place. The certificate the candidate had sent was completely fraudulent.”

Scary Background Check Story 3: Sasha’s Close Call

“We had an urgent role to fill and needed a candidate who was fluent in English and Afrikaans. We found who we thought was a great candidate and, to our delight, he could start the next day. As standard practice, we ran a criminal check, and at the time these could take anywhere between 24 – 48 hours (nowadays you can get results in less than an hour!). We asked him to come in the next day to start training, with the understanding that once his background checks cleared, he could formally start.

The criminal check came back with possession of marijuana, which, while illegal at the time, was not something that would prevent us from hiring him. When we called the candidate to let him know the results and that it would still be okay for him to start, he let us know that the charge was incorrect. It should have been a case of assault – specifically domestic abuse.

As a woman who was part of a team made up of mostly women, I was grateful when he left to ‘sort out the charges’ and never came back. I learned my lesson about the importance of reliable background checks.”

Scary Background Check Story 4: Wanita’s Lying Law Student

“I had a candidate who had a four-year gap in her CV. When I asked her what she was doing in that time, she told me that she was studying and obtaining a law degree. We ran a credit check (standard for finance roles) and sent the CV off to the client.

The client came back to us, amazed that we didn’t know this candidate’s story. He revealed that she had defrauded a company of R6 million and had spent four years in prison for it – those same four years that she was supposedly ‘studying law’.”

The good news:

We’re not sharing these stories just to scare you, but rather to make sure that you’re aware of how important background checks are. Any one of these stories could have put the company and even fellow co-workers at risk. But it doesn’t have to be that way. At Job Crystal, we’re incredibly proud of our quick, simple Background Check process that not only takes the hassle out of submitting, but also gives you results right to your inbox in a matter of hours.

Stay safe and for the sake of your company and those who work with you, don’t skip the background check. Happy Halloween!