Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA)

Ever since the Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA) was introduced in Malaysia in 2010, all companies handling sensitive third party information are required to obtain a consent prior to using their information. Venovox in particular, shows, up-most concern over this issue and ensures that a consent is obtained before proceeding with any of our searches.

Well, this transparency has led to one particular potential candidate, who is keen to apply for a position in a multinational company, to seek an ostensible clarification about our service. The potential candidate was concerned about the potential background check which might be conducted on him/her and highlighted that he/she did not list an employer’s particulars with whom he/she had worked for a period of less than 1 year in the resume. The candidate was rather concerned over this matter and questioned if this could negate the offer!

And this was what we explained:

There are typically two types of background checks conducted on an individual. The first comprises of conducting checks based on resume/application submitted. This essentially involves our Research Analysts calling each of the previous employers listed on the resume to confirm on the employment date, salary details, annual and medical leaves entitlement, and other HR disciplinary records. Besides obtaining a performance assessment from the ex-reporting supervisor, the ‘referees’ submitted as the “former supervisor or as reference” will also be verified and a confirmation from the respective HR personnel with regard to their role involved with the candidate will be ascertained. Upon confirmation, our Research Analysts will then seek an interview from a list of questions specially formulated enquiring about the candidate’s working performances, strengths and weaknesses.

The second type of screening is not conducted based on the work history. It involves other ‘grey areas’ not highlighted or deliberately left out by the candidate with different agencies in Malaysia. This may include a financial check, an adverse incriminating record check, the candidate’s interest in other organization (shareholders or directorships), outstanding study loans and so on. Of course the scope and areas of checks conducted varies and depends on the clients need due to the sensitivity of the candidate’s posting/application. For instance, if the position requires the candidate to work with money, then the employer would want to know about the candidate’s credit history to rule out embezzlement convictions.

If the candidate is to apply for a job handling children, then the employer will be interested to know about the candidate’s violence in the workplace, as well as to weed out any convicts with child molesting cases.

Our background check also caters for candidates who apply for higher level positions in GLCs and MNCs in Malaysia. Here, the employers would be more interested to know if the candidate holds any preferences in other companies such as directorships or shares to avoid conflict of interest.

To answer the particular candidate’s query – an omission in the resume about a short employment stint may not show up in the screening per se. However, if he/she has used that short employment dates to be absolved into another employment as a ‘cover up’ and during verification if HR verifies otherwise, then it will open up a ‘void hole’. Most often than not, the new hiring company (client) will become concerned on such void gaps which goes unexplained in the resume.

The Research Analysts at Venovox will indulge in conducting active investigation to ascertain the employment by various means. The information can be picked at many level, sometimes even via conversations from the candidate’s ex-reporting supervisors or friends, named as referees.

Hence, to be absolutely clear and transparent with a prospective employer, the candidate is advised to notify the officer in charge about the omission and if the duration is indeed small, then it may not be a big deal. In fact, there will be greater employment chances for the candidate as the candidate has explained all that is needed to be clarified in the application process.

Editor – Team Venovox