CONCERNED citizen, of Port Elizabeth, obviously does not understand the role employment agencies fulfil in today's job market ("Keep old records out of job checks", October 14).
Credit and criminal checks have played an increasingly vital role in ensuring that the correct placements for specific jobs are conducted.
Although not a perfect system, they allow at least some insight into the habits or tendencies of the person applying for a job. It may not have a direct bearing on the job at hand, but a credit check can reveal that due to a person's spending habits or failure to accept responsibility for payment of goods received he or she has not reached a point in his or her life where he or she takes responsibility for his or her actions.
I have been there, I was blacklisted and had to take charge of my own destiny by settling my debt over time.
Years on, I went through a credit check for a job and was not negatively influenced at all due to the blacklisting being lifted.
Today I have a very agreeable credit rating. This took hard work and sacrifice, but was worth it in the end.
Another misconception is that should you be arrested for a crime and the case is dismissed or you are acquitted (no conviction) that this remains on your record. I can categorically state that this is not so as you only have the record attached once you have been found guilty in a court of law.
The state may not keep this on record should you have been acquitted and as such your record if checked will be clean. If you apply to the president to have your record expunged a criminal record can be removed from official record, thereby providing you with a clean record.
It would be unfair to expect employment agencies not to have the right to scrutinise your records for criminal activities.
If I needed a driver I would not like to hire someone who has previous convictions for drunken driving.
If I need a person to work in a financial institution I would not want someone with previous fraud convictions and I would also not like a convicted paedophile to work at a school or in any work involving children.
I do however agree that in some cases people make the wrong decisions and do everything in their means to make up for those mistakes.
Many companies are prepared to make concessions depending on the gravity of the criminal offence and how long back this occurred. I have seen this when a woman was honest and up-front about a shoplifting offence committed when she was still in school (approximately 15 years prior to her job application), successfully applied and was awarded a job with a big name company in Port Elizabeth.
Maybe if the government and municipalities utilised the same criteria for job selection we would not be in the mess we find ourselves in.
Real world citizen, Port Elizabeth