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Screening of Workers Should Not Be a Witch-hunt Exercise

Screening of Workers Should Not Be a Witch-hunt Exercise

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Published by Kola Olugbodi

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Published by: Kola Olugbodi on May 03, 2011
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Screening of workers should not be a witch-hunt exercise

MESHACK IDEHEN02/05/2011 01:30:00


The Managing Director of Background Check International, Mr. Kola Olugbodi tells MESHACK IDEHEN in this interview that while background screening and checks for employees and business owners are a prerequisite for business success, implementing it should not be a witch hunting exercise, instead, for the overall interest of the country’s economy. What are employees screening or checks about, and how are such exercise by organisations tied to a company’s growth and development? Without doubt, it can categorically be said that in this country today, many once profitable

companies and business organisations are now dead, or in a state of complete comatose, due mainly to the activities of some workers or employees that managed to find their ways into such organisations to wreck havoc Until very recently for example, cases of insider’s abuse by some employees in the financial sector led to accumulation of huge debts by some of the banks, and a near crippling of the economy. In other instances, cases have been recorded, where employees collaborate with criminally minded individuals or groups to rob or vandalise their own organisations. However, it must also be said that these illegal activities of some workers are not peculiar to the banking or financial service sector alone. Even in the public sector, such cases of abuse of trust, offices and authority have been recorded. On the domestic front, we have seen and heard of house helps, drivers and the likes that have visited havoc and unimaginable terror on their principals. All these are mainly due to the absence of adequate or professionally conducted background screening. So, what background check does basically is to independently, without bias or prejudices, verify any claim that has been presented by any potential or present employee. The aim is to curtail, or completely eliminate fraud, promote due diligence and rescue organisations from the activities of criminally minded workers, whether they are present or potential ones. Background checks safeguards the economy of the country. Can’t organisations have their own form of internal background checks or screening systems that will prevent frauds and other related activities that might bring a company down? Background Check International emerged from a sincere desire to enhance competence in corporate and non-corporate organisations. From our long and professional experience in background screening, the results of internally conducted or executed checks or screening for workers can, and has been seen to be mostly compromised, due to internally vested interest. It is usually on that basis, coupled with the knowledge that some organisations possesses that background screening is a very professional exercise, that sometimes compel them to engage the services of professional external background screeners. On the other hand, the tendency to witch hunt perceived enemies or workplace opponents could also arise, if internal screening are conducted. Background screening should not be a witch hunting exercise, even if people could be desperate sometimes. Though the level is gradually reducing, statistics reveals that about 33 percent of job applicants falsify credentials, submits fabricated, exaggerated and sometimes misleading resume, all in to secure a job or a source of livelihood.

As the pioneer of background screening in Nigeria and the West African sub region, what are you doing to reduce the seeming proliferation of background screening companies in the country and beyond? This is an issue that is being currently handled at both national and international levels, even as I agree with that there is a rising proliferation of companies claiming to be background screening companies, when they have no business saying so. Security services companies or consulting in human resource is not background screening, as is being witnessed. Background screening is a hundred percent job of trust and professionalism. Background screening is not just another form of business. It is mostly based on that that we are putting together, the African chapter of the association of professional background screeners, which Background Check International is leading. Background Check International, as a member of the International Association of Professional Background Screener based in the United States of America, a member of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) USA, and Nigeria Institute for Industrial Security (NIIS) owe it as a responsibility to the country, to see that there is sanity and complete professionalism in the background screening industry in Nigeria and Africa. The important thing however, is that organisations must carefully watch and do their own assessment and screening, before giving out the screening of its employees to some organisations. As a professional in this industry, what would you want the government to do about background screening, in its relation to national development? The government must do more in the form of adequate regulations or policies that will not only drive the economy and national growth, but also initiate and promote policies that should stabilise the economy. Adequate and professional backgrounds screening in the public service, alongside those of investors coming into the country, contractors and the others that play roles in shaping national economic decisions, are part of what the government requires to meet these objectives and goals. What are some of the activities that BCI is engaged in to promote due diligence in the country? Apart from Credentials Verification and screening of employees and professional certificates, we also verify previous employers, check personal reference and conduct vetting services. BCI also carry out fraudulent claims verification, address confirmation report clients, customers background and vendors background check. International background check, corporate due diligence, vital documents verification, risk management intelligence report and tenant’s background checks are also some of the activities that the company is engaged in.

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