John Vaughan (Financial Advisor) @ Lucid Living
We’ve all been coached on how to spruce up our CV, how to dress and what to say in a job interview. Neutral tones, firm hand shake and always maintain eye contact. Follow these well established pointers and you should be a shoe-in.
But how many of you know that the interview is preceded by some pretty intense investigation into your personal information?
When you sign-up with a recruitment agency or apply directly to a potential employer, they almost always require you to consent to them performing a –
• Reference check;
• Educational qualifications check;
• Criminal background check; and
• Credit background check.
We focus in, on the credit background check.
Can a recruiter/prospective employer check my credit record?
Not without your prior consent.
Furthermore, the position for which you are applying must “require trust and honesty and entails the handling of cash or finances”.
What do they look at on my credit record?
The following information on your credit record is of particular interest to a prospective employer –
• Personal information – name, identity number verification, address history and contact information;
• Employment history – your credit report keeps a record of all your previous employment – highlighting the employer’s name, your position and the date of employment; and
• Blacklisting for non-payment – this includes judgments, administration orders, arrear payments etc.
Why do they check this information?
The personal information and employment history on your employment application form is cross referenced with your credit report to ensure it is correct and valid, so as to rule out fraud and misrepresentation. Eric Rosenberg of the TransUnion Credit Bureau says a third of employees provide bogus information on their CVs.
If you are blacklisted, the conclusion drawn is that you are irresponsible, do not take accountability, untrustworthy and a financial risk.In the majority of instances, blacklisting will disqualify you from the recruitment process. According to Emmanuels recruitment agency, almost 40% of temp employees are denied permanent positions, due to poor credit records.
In a survey released earlier this year by the Society for Human Resource Management 54 percent of employers said the primary reason they used credit checks was to prevent theft and embezzlement. Employers want to mitigate the risk of financial fraud and theft and the administration costs associated with managing staff loans and garnishee orders – a trend that is prevalent with blacklisted employees according to Kristine Snyder of Experian Credit Bureau.
How do I prepare my credit record to secure employment?
1. Your credit record should not be a mystery to you. Get your credit record and see what information is reflected.
2. Now that you know what information “they” look at, make sure it is accurate, up to date and valid. 72% of disputes lodged with credit bureau (Q2 2010) revealed inaccurate information.
3. If you are blacklisted, you need to get these listings updated (to reflect more positively) or removed if they are unlawful.
4. For those negative marks that have to remain, offer an explanation in your application – this shows you are transparent and honest and may dispel or mitigate an otherwise negative opinion.