“Oh no!” the screams comes from your sales floor. You rush to see what the matter is and come face-to-face with a very angry looking mother. She immediately informs you that the person you have in customer service dealing with returns is the convicted sex offender who molested her daughter as well as five other little girls in town. She demands to know why you would hire him to work in customer service in a children’s clothing store. “I didn’t know …I didn’t know” is all you can say in your defense. A little far-fetched you say? Afraid not. A very similar scenario happened at a company at which I worked. “I didn’t know” just didn’t cut it. You really have an obligation to know or at least to try and find out before hiring someone. Pre-employment screening could have given you that knowledge and at least allowed you to consider the person’s history before putting them in front of your customers.
It is often said that the best predictor of future performance is past behavior. Should that be the case, business owners and management have a need to know what kind of behavior prospective employees have exhibited. In a company I once worked for, a person who was convicted of embezzlement and on federal supervision was hired as a manager for a retail store without the company delving into his background and to everyone’s surprise he committed a large-scale embezzlement scheme involved forged checks. Should the company have completed a pre-employment screening of this individual he may not have been hired, or at least never been placed in a position in which he had control of company funds.
If these situations were not serious enough, in another true situation an assistant store manager was hired after leaving another company in the franchise chain with rave reviews and without disclosing he was actually fired for stealing company funds. Within six months he committed another criminal act but it wasn’t theft. He actually sexually assaulted a customer in the manager’s office during store hours. It was then that it was discovered he had a previous criminal history. That would have been nice information to have from an employee background check prior to hiring him and it would have saved the company a great deal of hand-wringing over the potential litigation and bad public relations.
I could go on and on with stories from various points in my career or from other professionals to whom I have spoken but you get the point. One cannot just bury his or her head in the sand and hope that the person they are hiring to handle their money, deal with their customers, or supervise their young employees is not an embezzler, a burglar, or a sex offender. The employer must make an effort to conduct pre-employment screening using a reputable background check company. A failure to do so could lead your company to facing bad public relations, lawsuits, or even tragedy.
A good background check company can provide you with a peace-of-mind by finding and disclosing those potential time bombs before they end up on your employee roster. They can automate the process so the pre-employment screening becomes a seamless part of your application process. You are then presented the findings and can make a hiring decision based on your own personnel guidelines.
Pre-employment screening needs to become part of your personnel processes if it is not already. You can’t defend against what you don’t know and “I didn’t know” is just not going to cut it when you are facing that customer who was victimized by your new employee. INFORMATION IS POWER! Use it to your advantage and conduct employee background checks.
For more information on employee background checks contact us or call 1.770.426.0547