Stay wide-awake and avoid a recruitment nightmare

Dec 11, 2017

Knowing your rights as a business owner, making sure you’re dealing with professional recruitment agencies or labour brokers, and following the correct associated administrative procedures can save you a lot of time, money, and hassle in the long-run
After having been involved in several disciplinary procedures with some of my clients who recently had to dismiss staff and begin the arduous process of rehiring, I realised that there was an urgent need for business owners to become more astute and pragmatic when dealing with recruitment.
The following guidelines and suggestions may come in handy – and save you a lot of unnecessary recruitment stress!

Recruitment 101: Understand your rights and responsibilities

According to legislation, as outlined in the Consumer Protection Act No 68 of 2008 (CPA) – which protects sole proprietors and owners of small businesses who turn over less than R1 000 000 [ALISON, PSE CHECK THIS FIGURE. WENDY THINKS IT MAY BE R2M] a year, the Labour Relations Act, No 66 of 1995 (LRA), and the Protection of Personal Information Act No 4 of 2013 (POPI), you have certain rights and responsibilities as a business owner when recruiting staff via a recruitment agency or labour broker.

Always ask for the recruiter’s fees

Most importantly, as with any business arrangement, always ask your recruiter to provide you with a comprehensive list of their fees and what these fees cover, before you start receiving any candidate CV’s or details.

As stipulated in the CPA – and in order to meet the basic requirements of a legal contract such as consensus – all products and associated services must be outlined and priced clearly upfront. You wouldn’t consider test driving a car without first inspecting it, knowing its price, and asking the dealer about its condition, would you?

Ensure your recruiter is reputable and compliant

Your top responsibility when beginning the recruitment process is to ensure that the recruiter you’re dealing with has a good reputation and operates in line with the various acts listed above, so that you have peace-of-mind before engaging in business with them.

Always have an agreement in place, clearly outlining your recruitment requirements, and make sure that you have the recruiter’s T’s & C’s on file. It’s always wise to arrange a face-to-face meeting with any recruiters who phone you, so that you can check them out, as well as explain how your business runs, where it is, and what your team is like.

Be clear about your referral preferences and understand the POPI Act

In terms of the LRA, business owners and potential employers have several obligations that they’re liable for when receiving a candidate’s CV. Understanding and adhering to these duties can protect you from being accused of unfair treatment or discrimination by a candidate.

For instance, one of your referral stipulations may be to not receive any unsolicited CV’s, unless you directly request referrals for a particular position. The POPI Act requires that any personal information shared can only be done with the express permission and full knowledge of the person. This includes when, and with whom, their personal details are being shared.

Upon receiving personal information from recruiters, you’re automatically responsible for protecting it while it’s in your possession. It’s vital that you remain compliant and clear about all of your responsibilities during this time, especially when it comes to assuring all candidates that their personal information will be permanently destroyed once you no longer require it.

Consider your business image and professional reputation

When engaging with potential employees, it’s critical to consider your business image and professional reputation. A negative experience with a candidate could result in negative ramifications for you in the business environment. Remember; any candidate could become a potential customer or refer future customers.

Get to know as much as possible about your candidates

It’s always preferable to check that potential candidates have been personally interviewed or screened by the recruiter before referral. To expedite the process, it also helps to know things like their desired remuneration, notice period, and when they can begin work if you hire them.
It’s also good to know why they’re considering joining your business, why they’re leaving their current job, and, if they’re available immediately, to find out a little more about their circumstances and reason for being currently unemployed.

Normal screening usually includes,

  • Reference checks,
  • Education and qualification verification checks,
  • Industry licencing or membership verification checks (where appropriate)
  • Criminal record checks
  • Credit checks
  • Skills verification assessments (where necessary)

Some business owners shy away from references, however. The Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA) places an obligation on employers to provide employees with a Certificate of Service upon termination of employment, which should contain:

  • The employee’s full name
  • The name and address of the employer
  • A description of any council or sectoral employment standard covering your business. E.g. HPCSA registration, SAOA member, etc.
  • Commencement and termination of employment dates
  • Job title or brief description of duties carried out by employee at time of termination
  • Remuneration at date of termination
  • Upon employee request, the reason for termination

Given the current level of fraud in the economy, you could also choose to have criminal, credit, and skills checks done as a condition of employment. While there are some administrative costs involved here, they’re nominal considering the potential damage which could be caused by fraudsters to your business.

A reputable recruitment agency or broker should include all of the screening and verification checks in their service fee, so make sure you’re not paying for just being sent a CV. If the recruitment service is merely a referral from a database, then ensure the fee reflects this.

Staff will come and go

In closing, it’s an experienced and mature business owner who accepts and realises that there will always be a movement of staff in any business, be it for a bigger salary offer or a preferred working environment.

It’s also inevitable that some people may leave your business only to end up working for one of your business associates or competitors. That’s just the nature of business. Whatever the reason behind staff coming and going however, never let your guard down when it comes to recruiting and verifying your future staff – it could just save you from a real nightmare in the long run.

Industry insights to maximise the success of your practice

If you’re in need of personalised and professional advice on how to run your practice more efficiently, in-line with current industry trends and legislative guidelines, get in touch with Vizibiliti Management Services today.

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“There are many different factors that determine the success of your practice – but, as a busy healthcare professional focusing on the needs of your patients, you may not always have the time to focus on the many demanding, and often complex, facets of managing your business. Vizibiliti provides you with easy access to insightful, comprehensive practice and business management solutions and advice across all stages of your business journey – from establishing, growing or closing your practice.”

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