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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.

How to Conduct a Surveillance

by Joe Hoover

These types of investigations may require surveillance.

  • Relationship (pre-relationship, romantic & domestic)
  • Child custody
  • Worker's compensation & insurance claims
  • Employee theft
Bounty hunting

Important! Of all these, non-professionals should attempt only Relationship Investigations surveillance. All other cases should be handled by the pros.

Who Should Attempt Surveillance?

You can follow and observe someone you know, but to do so you must take extreme cautions. If the target is known to you, you might be better off to hire a trained PI, or recruit a friend or two to do the surveillance for you.

Evidence Gathering for Court

If you conduct surveillance for the purpose of gathering evidence to be presented in court, your timed and dated notes, videotapes, and photographs will have much more credibility with judge and jury if there was a witness present who is willing to testify on your behalf.

Types of Surveillance

There are two types of surveillance: tailing, or shadowing (on foot, or by private and public transportation), and fixed surveillance - also called "the stakeout."

Plan Ahead

Gather all information about the target's habits and haunts before you attempt surveillance. Know the neighborhood you'll be working. Plan possible routes your target might take. Cover yourself by preparing an alternative plan you can put into action should things suddenly go awry. If you've done your homework, you may be able to reestablish a tail even if you lose it.

Research

The more research you do the better. Get to know the neighborhood. Find out where you can sit, where you can be. Learn to be patient.

Learn how to get off the street. One technique is to sit on the driver's side and not the street side: you're waiting for someone. Or, sit in the back seat and slump down.

A female is nowhere near as obtrusive as a male. Obviously she's waiting for her husband.

Positioning

The kind of stakeout you perform will be determined by the area in which you'll be working. A neighbor's home, a hotel or motel room, an associate's office - these are but a few of the stakeout positions from which you can observe, take photos, and videotape what transpires.

Mobil Stakeout

A stakeout is most often accomplished in a car, van, or truck. A comfortable room or an office from which to watch your target would be optimum, but that kind of observation post is generally difficult to arrange. In a quiet neighborhood, you are always more conspicuous than if parked, walking, or standing on a busy city street. In a run-down section of the city, nothing but old cars parked on the street, your shiny new car will stand out and attract attention. Think about borrowing or renting an older car to use in these areas. In nicer residential areas, curious residents will notice you sitting in your automobile and will come by to check you out. Or they'll call the police, who, if they arrive, will question you and ask you to leave.

Reconnaissance

Perform a reconnaissance to familiarize yourself with the area before beginning the stakeout.

Also, Do These Things:

  • Top off the gas tank in case you have to follow your target a distance.
  • Check all exits of the house, apartment, or office building you intend to observe.
  • Wear comfortable clothing that will blend in, clothes the target will not recognize.
  • Wear sunglasses and a baseball cap to disguise your face and hair.
If the target knows you, he or she may still recognize you by body shape, coloring or other features and traits, even if you are fully disguised.

Anticipate where target is going; change to clothing appropriate to the environment, i.e. bathing suit at the beach, dressy clothes in a fancy restaurant.

On The Scene

If possible, park in front of a store, bar, or service station. Slide over to the passenger side or slump down in the back seat: You’re waiting for someone while reading a road map or newspaper. Surveillance takes time; learn to be patient. You may be sitting in one spot for a long while. Minimize eating and drinking to alleviate the need to break surveillance to locate a bathroom.

Change Appearance

Take along a couple of changes of clothes to fit in where your subject might be going.

Cover Story

Prepare a cover story in case you're spotted, identified and questioned. The cover story you prepare for the police or a suspicious neighbor may not be a good cover story for your target if he or she spots you.

Read the complete "Surveillance Techniques" article.



The field of private investigation is widely diversified and requires a variety of skills to fill a growing list of specialties. Training and skills you may already have, like photography, electronics - and especially a knowledge of computers - can be very valuable assets for the investigate business. Learn how to get started, where to go for help, and what each state requires.

Secrets of Top Private Eyes -  Private Investigator Training Course - Get Started Now!