Businesses are fond of claiming that employees are their best assets or biggest competitive advantage over other companies in the market. Yet, when it comes to properly practicing “due diligence” with new hires, the words and the music don’t always match.
It is common for many small and growing businesses to begin their expansion by hiring part-timers, interns, family, or friends. The perspective is that the “risk” is quite limited as the person is either known to the owner prior to hiring, or will be a relatively insignificant part of the business – and therefore is not “worth” checking up on in a cost/benefit calculation done by the owner in his or her head. Unfortunately, all it takes is a single negligent hiring decision to torpedo good will with customers, lead to prospective issues due to damages, tie the business up in legal wrangling, etc.
Easier to do it Right the First Time
While it is easy to try to convince ourselves that “nothing bad will happen this time” or that it is not worth the energy, time, expense, etc. to do it “by the book” for any given employee, the reality is that continually having to train, retrain, source, select, and hire new employees and replacement employees for initially poorly selected employees can run into the tens of thousands of dollars. In fact, according to a William M. Mercer, Inc. study quoted in “Don’t Hire a Fugitive” published by www.business.com, it may run upward of $10,000 for each employee! Therefore, taking the time to conduct the employee “vetting” process properly will save the company in the long run.
Bankruptcies over 10 years in the past
Arrest records after 7 years
Collections records beyond 7 years
And of very recent vintage – personal passwords to social network sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.
Not every job needs to be “vetted” to the same level or include the same rigor. A pizza delivery driver may be subject to driving record offenses, DUIs, tickets, etc. – that may be less critical for someone who is a dishwasher in the restaurant. Similarly, a bank teller handling cash may be subject to background checks that are more focused on criminal activity involving money.
While it may seem like overkill to the employer to go through this rigorous review, it can save the company thousands of dollars in court case costs, reputation, and time and effort. Removing the bad apples from the bunch before they can spoil the others is always a wise decision.