Vetting new employees or critical promotions in your organization? What’s it all about? How much of a background check do you need?
Answer: It all depends……
I have interviewed human resources professionals who have told me they do “background checks” on all their employees. When I look at the file I see they have done local law enforcement checks, sometimes a credit check, but more often than not the “background check” is limited to checking references by phone. That’s fine if you are hiring a low risk, low access employee who cannot disrupt your business if they are dishonest. You have to decide your tolerance for risk and weigh the cost of checking further.
Nothing replaces a good old-fashioned background investigation, done by a trained and experienced investigator. No computer search, survey tool or telephone reference is going to tell you what you need to know if you have to make a critical decision about someone who will have the access to do damage to your company or organization. When you are an employer considering a candidate for employment you need to invest a little time and money in the right vetting process for your company and one appropriate for the position being filled.
If you are the person responsible for hiring in your company, what are you doing to ensure the person you interviewed and who impressed you is worthy of the trust and confidence you are going to give when you put them in a critical position in your company? What steps should you take to protect your company from a bad hiring decision? Is the new guy/gal a fraudster, thief or a bad employee moving from job to job? The old saying, “Trust, but verify”, is critical to remember before you hire.
A good background investigation should focus on the whole person, their qualifications, character and past performance. This means going out, in person, and talking to former supervisors, co-workers, neighbors, references (both listed and those developed from other interviews). It also should include an integrity interview with the applicant to verify the statements made in the application process and give the individual the opportunity to disclose discrepancies or derogatory information omitted in the interview process. Often, when a person realizes an investigator is about to go asking people, in person, about their past activities admissions of prior acts of concern to the employer will be made.
The object of a good background investigation is to give the employer information they would otherwise have said they wish they had known. A trained, professional investigator can ask the right questions and will report all the relevant information.
In my past experience conducting internal investigations of serious criminal and administrative misconduct, allegations against people who had been granted security clearances, I would always read the pre-hiring background investigation report. More often than not, I would see obvious issues that could have prevented the hiring of the person in the first place. Sometimes organizations under pressure to fill vacancies will rationalize away obvious issues, but the investigators report should at least provide the facts and the organization can decide what is acceptable based on the position and circumstances of the situation.
We offer professional investigative and security consulting services to businesses and would be happy to offer a complementary assessment to help you decide what is needed for your particular business situation.
Just call or email and we will help you out.