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Days numbered for job seekers who tell lies

A risk management and consultancy firm has developed an employee vetting card to help employers recruit the right candidates.

The card by Spectrum Network International (SNI) will be a product of both covert and overt background checks by the firm to uncover falsified information in a job seeker’s testimonials.

According to SNI, which specialises in business intelligence and corporate investigations, a vetting card is a pre-employment screening mechanism that covers academic qualifications, professional membership, previous work experience, and referees.

According to SNI managing director Samjim Mwanyasi, prospective employees are increasingly engaging in information falsification and document forgery in hot pursuit of limited employment opportunities.

“This situation has huge ramifications on employee recruitment procedures and corporate losses,” he says.


SNI now insists its vetting card will be fool proof.

“Our targets are both employers and employees. The latter will relax in the belief that their documents have been authenticated, while the former is guaranteed of having people with the right qualifications for the job,” explains Mr Mwanyasi.

Currently, many employers rely on referees provided by job candidates to countercheck information, while some conduct their own background checks before recruiting an individual.

The SNI employee vetting mechanism is expected to yield insights into whether the employee has concealed important information or has misrepresented themselves. The mechanism can be regarded as the first test of character.

“From our 10 years’ experience in employee vetting, I can confidently say that 40 per cent of curriculum vitae submitted to employers are falsified,” Mr Mwanyasi claims.

The vetting card to be issued on request for job candidate screening by an employer or employee themselves, will be valid for one year.

According to SNI, the key areas prone to information falsification are employment experience and professional training.


In this case, a rogue prospective employee will wrongly claim to have attained a certain professional certificate from a reputable institution, or lie about their level of experience, all in a bid to catch the recruiter’s eye.

In other cases, job seekers will include places they have never worked as part of their experience, while others will omit some details, knowing well they had been prosecuted for serious crimes.

Employers also often get duped into employing a candidate on the basis of claims of membership in reputable professional bodies.

Criminal record, which is mostly authenticated by a certificate of good conduct issued by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations, should also not be trusted on the face value of it, according to SNI, as it is also prone to falsification.

Job candidates further tend to misrepresent their dates of employment, positions held, duties, reasons for leaving a job, and their nationality and immigration status.

“We have a wide network with training institutions and professional bodies, and can easily get clear backgrounds on an individual,” Mr Mwanyasi assures.


The company will conduct three types of vetting as it strives to rid the job market of dishonest employment seekers and workers.

Job candidates just out of college and employees in their first jobs are classified under the entry level category, where focus is on criminal record, membership to professional bodies, and authenticity of certificates.

Middle level category encompasses individuals in their second job.

Here the emphasis is on criminal history, previous employer, membership in professional bodies as well as educational and/or training details.

The executive check will vet  people who have been in more than two employments, with information regarding their experience, employers, trainings, membership to professional bodies, criminal record and education background being weighted.

“Upon conclusion of the screening exercise, the candidates are issued with vetting cards showing their qualifications,” says Mr Mwanyasi.