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Screening service for smart employment decisions

Press release from Personnel Profile Specialists Limited (PPSL)
2 October 2006

Screening service for smart employment decisions

A Queenstown based company has designed a range of checks to help protect companies from the risk of bad employment decisions.

Personnel Profile Specialists Limited (PPSL) works as outsourced specialists in Human Resources providing pre-employment screening that verifies information supplied by potential employees. The screening ensures that candidates have the qualifications and criminal, employment and credit histories that their CV’s claim.

Richard Peach, Managing Director of PPSL says pre-employment screening can help prevent employers making inappropriate appointments.

“Remember John Davey? [Employed by Millennium People to head Maori TV]. There have been many high profile cases where top management positions have been filled by people who would never have been employed had adequate pre-screening been carried out. And it doesn’t have to be high level employees – Lisa Clement was an ordinary employee with influence over funds disbursement, yet managed to defraud the Department of Social Development of 1.9 million. A quick check of Lisa’s history would have revealed her aliases and potentially prevented that crime.”

Peach points out that the current tight labour market means the risks are high for employers.

“Many small and medium sized New Zealand businesses have found themselves the casualties of bad employment decisions. In the current climate the risks are greater than usual as employers can be desperate to fill roles. They have fewer choices and can fail to conduct thorough tests.”

PPSL’s services are not limited to New Zealand histories. The company is the only New Zealand organisation to have an office in the UK and access to data from all New Zealand’s major immigration sources. This means overseas employment, education, credit and criminal histories can be checked.

“Recruitment is a time and cost intensive process. Crucially, making the wrong decision can expose a company to ruinous financial risk,” says Peach. “If your prospective employee spent three years in the UK, you need to be sure that person isn’t leaving a past that holds risks to your business.”

Peach is well qualified to deliver the PPSL service. With a background in financial services he was a founder of the National Fraud Database for New Zealand, worked as a senior manager for Baycorp where he was the force behind many fraud and personal verification services and held a position providing consultancy to the World Bank in credit bureau development. He says all businesses, both large and small are susceptible to employee fraud.

“Our role at PPSL is to minimise that risk. New Zealand employers are by nature trusting and accepting. That national attitude holds significant risk when you look at the statistics. Globally, up to 40% of CV’s contain erroneous information. In New Zealand, 25% of credit reports contain adverse information and 11% of PPSL screening reports contain some adverse criminal history. Employers need to know this stuff in advance.”

PPSL is easily accessed by employers. The entire process can be conducted by logging onto with results through in as little as 24 hours depending on the type of checks made.

In line with privacy and human rights law, a prospective employee must give their permission before screening can take place and they have the right to refuse screening. Applicants also have the opportunity to explain previous scenarios which may arise in the screening.

The PPSL service is aimed at human resources professionals, recruitment companies and business managers of any business where there is a risk to the company, employees and business reputation.

“Pre-employment screening is a relatively new concept in New Zealand, but in the USA it’s been common business practice for a number of years. In the UK, around 60 per cent of employees are screened and I predict that New Zealand is set to catch up in the next five years,” says Peach.


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