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Friday, September 17, 2010

The Cost of NOT Conducting an Employee Screening

by Joe Hoover

Here’s THE BIG QUESTION: “What risks do I face if I
don’t screen an applicant?”


These are THE RISKS:

(Note: This is a “worst case” summation of the major costs of NOT doing a
thorough background check.)

• Possibility of being liable; of being sued
• Negative news coverage and possible loss of reputation of the company
• Stress of litigation and the investigative process
• Cost of legal defense, even when not guilty
• Loss of time, productivity, and income; another training period
• Loss of equipment and property if by theft
• Cost of training a new hire
• Loss of income/profits in general
• Theft, embezzlement, a shooting, a sexual assault

MORE SPECIFIC RISKS:

A person with a job in the accounts receivable department, if inclined, has the
advantage to embezzle. An unscrupulous person employed as a cashier might be of a mind to steal from the till. A job that involves stress and close proximity to
others could result in violence aimed directly at you or your employees. A heavy
equipment operator with a drinking problem or medical issues could cause serious
injuries or death. You could be held libel.

A NOT UNTYPICAL SCENARIO:

. . . He talked the good talk, stated he had experience in allied fields, and had participated in various related endeavors and projects and enterprises - expertise and experience you could use in your business. Six months down the
road he’s calling in sick and showing up late. That’s when you find out about his drinking problem. And the five DUIs you didn’t know about. And it could be way down the road before you discover any of this . . .

THINKING BACK . . .

That $19.95 “Criminal Search” you ran: You’re not sure whether he even gave you his correct date of birth! The “Search” results came back: He was “clean.” Of course he was...

Add to the dilemma six months of poor production and the repercussions of poor management on the subject’s part. Plus, once again, your time is on the line; you’ve got to go through the unpleasant interviewing process all over again . . .

But, now, finally, the bad experience is behind you and you’re ready to move on. It was costly, but you’ll survive. Right now you’ve got to hire somebody else.

All that money you spent on training the first loser, and you’ve gotta’ spend it all over again . . .

What it boils down to is: you saved a couple hundred bucks. You could have lost your company!

WORKPLACE VIOLENCE:

By not conducting a background screening at all, you, as the employer, could be subject to lawsuits and crippling penalties - plus court awards - if an employee you didn’t check out commits a crime against a fellow employee or a client.

HUMAN RESOURCE DEPARTMENT HEADACHES:

The cost of employee theft and fraud and the cost of recruitment and retention are some of the things that keep Human Resource professionals up at night.

LIABILITY ISSUE:

Governing bodies and courts in the United States have created laws regarding employers' responsibilities. It pays to KNOW who you are hiring before you put your clients and employees at risk. What if the guy had been driving the company vehicle and got into an accident; maybe injured or killed somebody. Or hurt somebody in the warehouse while he was operating a fork-lift.

Was he going into people’s homes, representing your company? What if he commits a crime, like rape? You could be held liable. What if he was a sex offender, a real risk to you and your employees, and you didn’t check?

Theft from employees is always a possibility. It’s not just your property either; he might have stolen your client list!

He could have been a repeat “Workman’s Comp Offender,” looking for an easy mark: You.…

EMPLOYER’S RESPONSIBILITIES:

Not all risks can be measured in dollars alone. Consider loss of talent, loss of morale, loss of reputation. By law, an employer must exercise due diligence in hiring to ensure that people selected do not pose a threat to others. Poor hiring decisions can have long-term financial and legal ramifications for employers and your other employees. A meticulous pre-employment screening can significantly reduce the risks.

Read the complete "The Risk of NOT Conducting an Employee Background Check" article.

Investigative Professionals performs complete and thorough Background Checks. Conduct an Employee Screening.

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