This is a request I received recently through Agreements Online. Verbatim. No lie. Hmmm. This is a tough one. What to do? Time to seek some balanced, sensible, trustworthy guidance on the appropriate moral standpoint to take. So I sought out my trusty advisors. Well, okay – I asked a couple of BFFs. “Ask for a fee of R8 million” was one recommendation. This was closely countered by another who saw an opportunity and declared that if there was money to be had, I ought to be sharing it around. After due consideration, I decided that (a) my conscience doesn’t come that cheap, and (b) perhaps I should find some new friends. However, I did rather like another suggestion I received: to inform my requester that I’m a consultant for the NPA. Okay – so I’m not a NPA consultant. But interestingly, the only person recommending that I reject the request was a fellow attorney. So what’s the moral of the story? If you’re looking for someone to certify your fake degree, don’t ask a lawyer to do it. The legal profession may have acquired a shaky reputation for a variety of reasons, but certifying fake documents is not one of them.
Aside from a few choice expletives, another comment I received was “Unreal!” Sadly, it’s all too real. The situation, that is. Not the degree. What is sadder still is that our prospective job seeker should have no problem finding someone with sufficiently low levels of morality and high levels of greed to take up the offer. While I leave you contemplating the level at which your conscience could potentially be corrupted, we turn to a different yet related question.
Are you 100% certain that your employees are who they say they are?
With South Africa’s unemployment levels at record highs, supply outstrips demand for every job position that becomes available. Thousands clamour for positions, and heart-wrenching personal stories abound. The unemployed are becoming more desperate. Need may be the mother of invention. But coupled with desperation, it should come as no surprise that CVs are becoming increasingly inventive as more job applicants compete for fewer employment opportunities. Grudgingly being made to wash dishes in the family restaurant on weekends becomes a prized previous job experience. Tagging along to one project meeting miraculously transforms into single-handedly managing the entire multi-million dollar project from beginning to end. The ability to produce a basic document using Word constitutes grounds to support the Windows-wizard assertion. And all it takes to obtain a degree is the competence to use a photocopy machine. Faced with this barrage of diversely talented, genuinely fake graduates, what is an employer to do? How does the employer go about finding the real-deal in amongst the wannabes?
Having a well-defined, end-to-end recruitment procedure – and following it – can go a long way towards assisting an employer to employ the right person into the right position. Read more about this procedure in our next installment.
Please note that this information is supplied for general information and does not constitute legal advice. It is advisable for you to contact a legal practitioner for guidance in respect of your unique requirements.