If you are going to be in a situation where you might need to hire someone, it is necessary for you to understand what performing a criminal record check entails.
In every job or position around the world it is important for the employee that fills it to be trustworthy. Some positions allow more leeway for an employee to do wrong than others. For example, while you would look for a degree of honesty if you were hiring a cleaner for a shopping centre, you would probably expect a greater level if you were looking to hire someone to clean your home. Someone who cleans your house is in your personal space, around your belongings and has access to your valuables. When you allow someone inside your home you drop the security barrier that walls and a door create between you. A person in your home can easily steal your personal belongings, hurt or attack you, your family and your pets, and kidnap your children or pets.
When you search for a candidate to clean your home you will be concerned about several things. Obviously you will want to know that they can clean and do it well and that they are efficient and have experience, but the very important questions that you will ask yourself include the following:
- Is this person reliable?
- Is this person trustworthy?
- Is this person honest?
- Is this person dangerous?
- Has this person got good references?
- Has this person ever hurt anyone before?
- Has this person every stolen anything before?
- Will this person be likely to steal from me or hurt me or my family?
It is therefore necessary, in situations like this, to find a way to make sure that the person you are thinking of hiring has not done anything seriously wrong in the past. The way to do this is by performing a criminal record check on that person.
Any South African citizen who has committed a crime will have a criminal record. The police keep a data base with the criminals finger prints, ID number, name, photograph, height and other details so that they will be able to recognise the criminal should they try to commit a crime again. You do not have to go to jail to get a criminal record.
Even small crimes where the penalties include a fine or community service will mean that the wrong doer gets a criminal record. All the details of the misdemeanour will be documented within the criminal record. Should a criminal commit another crime later on, the previous criminal record will add weight to their sentencing when they go to trial. A criminal record is something that you cannot escape from and if you perform a criminal record check on someone, you will find all details of their previous convictions.
Performing a criminal record check before hiring
Most companies do not think twice about performing a criminal record check on any prospective employee as it will protect them in the future. If they do not perform a criminal record check and they employ an individual with a criminal record, there might be an incident at a later date where the employer commits a crime within the workplace. The company could have avoided the situation by not hiring the individual with the criminal record.
Positions where it is very important to ensure that prospective employees do not have criminal records include jobs where the employee would work with children, the sick, animals, valuable goods like diamonds and jewellery and anything else that requires a strong moral compass and rock solid ethics. Children and expensive goods are too valuable to be entrusted to someone who may commit a crime where they could be hurt or stolen. It is therefore a good idea to always do a thorough background check including a criminal record check on any individual you are thinking of hiring. It might save you in the long run.