Their Employee Screening Guide Rescued G4S

Meticulous Solutions Ltd team

Of Dreams

Macrine Mochama and Rael Busiega, both 29 years of age, have a few things in common. Having gone to the same university and studied the same course, both lawyers by profession, Macrine and Rael realized that their destinies were intertwined and they decided to make the best of it by starting a company together, Meticulous Solutions Limited

Macrine was born and brought up in Nairobi. She is the first born in a family of seven children and two parents. She has a Bachelor in Law (LLB) (Hons) with a Second Upper Class Honours from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa, a Diploma in Law from the Kenya School of Law and a Masters in International Law (LLM). She is a lawyer by profession, an Advocate of the High Court and a member of the Law Society of Kenya (LSK).

As  the  Managing  Director  and  Legal  Advisor  of  Meticulous  Solutions  Limited, among  other  things Macrine  maintains  the  statutory  books  and  records  of  the company,  ensures  security  of  the  company's legal  documents,  takes  on  the responsibility of advising on the way forward in legal matters, and ensures compliance with the law in the everyday dealings of the company.

Rael too is a first born in a family of two children. Before joining Meticulous Solutions Limited she spent much of her career in the security industry as a vetting manager. She heads the clients’ service and account management teams and she is responsible for implementing strategies to improve customers’ lives. This also involves addressing pressing questions surrounding background screening. She brings experience in enterprise business risk with a deep understanding of the global background screening regulatory landscape. Rael also received her law degree from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa. She is an Advocate of the High Court, a member of the Law Society of Kenya and a Certified Fraud Examiner.

The desire to start the company came about in 2013 when Rael was working for G4S, a leading security company. She was part of a team of professionals who were employed when G4S was experiencing huge cash losses through their staff. One of the mitigating factors was employee screening. With her legal background, Rael was able to develop an employee screening guide which was implemented by her employer. Together with other measures, cases of theft by employees reduced by approximately 90%. That’s when Rael discussed the idea with her friend Macrine. They did a lot of research and found a service gap in the market. They discovered that many companies, save for banks, seemed to be hiring individuals without any due diligence. That is how Meticulous Solutions Limited was born. Three years later they are still going strong.

Macrine Mochama (top) and Rael Busiega in the office.

Of Passion

Not everyone fancies the idea of having a background check done on them, especially with all the privacy laws coming up left, right and centre. However the reality on the ground is that most companies, especially SMEs, go under because of dishonest employees, pilferage and theft. Some businesses have lost customer confidence or acquired a bad reputation by hiring dishonest employees. As entrepreneurs it’s easy to hire an employee who will steal from you and walk away, leaving you to sort your mess as they waltz into another job opportunity.

Given the aggressive competition in the job market and in accessing institutions of higher learning, candidates put themselves forward in the best light possible, even if this means using deceitful means. As a result, people end up putting false information in their CVs. Very well forged diploma and degree certificates are now easily obtainable. “It is for that reason that we began this venture, to help companies hire the right people and to potentially save them from the headaches mentioned herein,” they say.

Starting out was not as complicated as one would think. Being a service delivery, they required little resources and their journey begun with the two of them doing all the work. As they grew, friends who believed in their dream were willing to work on minimal wages as they sought to acquire skills and experience. Meticulous Solutions Limited began with basic services which included identity checks, criminal record checks, academic/professional qualifications checks, employment history checks, reference checks, credit checks, driving licence checks, lifestyle checks, social media checks; all these depending on the industry and the nature of the job. Some people were confused as to what services the company was offering and Macrine and Rael were clear from onset that “no, we are not private investigators and no we don’t spy on married couples in their different offices and no, we are not part of a CID program.”

The company’s niche begun with domestic workers, then they moved on to casual labourers and years later they were cutting across all industries; the Government, the financial industry, the health sector. They have also done some work for the energy and oil, retail and hotel industries just to name but a few. They raised awareness initially through word of mouth, then recommendations and references from former clients begun to stream in. They have remained afloat through the network they have created.

As they approached the second year, the company had grown to levels that mitigated a need for a team. Meticulous Solutions Limited’s executive team is composed ofAger Okeyo, Head of Investigations, he has over 10 years of experience in investigations; Prudencial Bosibori, Head of the I.T Department, she has rich experience in business process transformation and software implementation; and Gloria Eliona, Marketing & Sales Manager with a rich experience in operations, client relationship management, business transformation and sales. “Together we create and build Meticulous Solutions Limited to the best version it can be and yes, we did checks on them too before we hired them,” Rael adds with a smile.

“One of the things I love about our business,” says Macrine, “is being able to flesh out and shape my dreams by steering the company in a particular direction we deem fit, all in an effort to leave behind a legacy worthy of inspiration, recognition and admiration. Also the autonomy that comes with dealing with people, thereby sharpening our managerial skills.” As for Rael, one of the things she loves about the business is that every day brings new challenges, new tasks and new discoveries. You set your pace and you can go fast if you choose or slow down if you feel like it.

Of Reality

One stark reality the two partners have to face daily is the lack of a legislative framework regulating pre-employment screening in Kenya. In some instances third parties are hesitant to give information about a candidate on the basis of privacy. This is handled by borrowing principles from the U.K and U.S who are very advanced in pre-employment screening. Best practice requires that an employee must consent in writing to background checks being done on them, waiving the right to privacy. “As a result some people feel like what we do is not legal, and give us a really hard time when we seek for information,” they explain. “Their notion however is falsified and we truly hope that sooner rather than later the world will realize the importance of our work.” Another reality they have faced happens to be with the government. Heavy reliance on government records which are manually kept, such as from the national bureau and the CID, affects their turnaround time.

Sometimes after doing a screening and recommending a person to an employer, the person recommended turns out to be a sore loser! However the company cannot be held responsible for what an employee decides to do after placement; or how an employer turns out to be for that matter. Other times after they have recommended someone, it has turned out that the information they had was wrong. In such rare instances, they have informed the employers. They also work with a paper trail. Everything is written down during the checks; therefore in the instance of the above ever happening, it would be against the word of the job seeker.

The lawyers recognise that what they do can be confusing at times for most people. “Are we dishonest? No! Do we use the information we have for potential blackmail? No,” they affirm. “However, companies that recognise the worth of their workforce and are ready to invest in them come to us, and we help ensure that they have the right team on board. We ensure efficiency from the very start and avoid the potential risk of insurmountable theft, damages and losses.”

Meticulous Solutions Ltd board meeting.

Of Difficulties, Lessons and Future Plans

The pressure in the business is huge, they both admit. The thought of being her own boss and the fact that she is result oriented helps Macrine go for the results, no matter the circumstances. “Besides, giving up because of one setback is like slashing your other three tyres because you got one flat tyre,” she says. As for Rael, one word does it: ‘FAITH’. “Faith tells you to keep going; that this will all work out, that the stress and sleepless nights will all pay off,” she quips.

Macrine has learnt that despite being in control of her time, she is not always in control of the processes that lead to the result. Rael has found out that the secret of getting ahead is getting started. She advises to “take small steps every day, eventually you will get there.”

Macrine admits that entrepreneurship has moulded her into a more resilient, tenacious and disciplined character while expanding her professional networks. Rael recognises that she has become more open minded and creative. Being an entrepreneur brings a lot of flexibility. She can schedule her working hours around other commitments including spending quality time with family.

Looking back, three years later with an annual turnover of 5 million, the business partners acknowledge that entrepreneurship is worth the tears, sweat and blood! If they could go back in time, knowing what they know now, Macrine would start the company earlier and Rael would get a mentor sooner rather than later. 

And five years from now, the two friends see their company being market leaders in pre-employment screening both in East Africa and Africa through excellent customer service, unbeatable turnaround time and unrivalled accuracy.

And finally

To budding entrepreneurs who want to start their journey and are still unsure or feel scared, Macrine and Rael advise that “the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago; the second best time is now. Therefore, to the young ones out there, live your dreams now, tend to that garden now, make a change, fuse your passions and your dreams. Go ahead and plant your trees now! Don’t be afraid to fail!”

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Macrine Mochama and Rael Busiega
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Diana Ashley

 

Diana Ashley is "A Fearless influencer of society.
Book lover. Coffee lover. 


You can check me out on 
https://thebookswag.wordpress.com"


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