Even if your company requires a thorough background check, including criminal records, you're still taking a gargantuan risk. Let me tell you about a perfect hire-gone-sour situation we recently found ourselves in.
A client of ours recently extended an offer of employment, which was accepted, and we established a start date for a promising candidate. Unfortunately, we found out after the fact that the candidate was listed on the national sex offender's registry. Here's the real shocker, the candidate's background check came back clean as a whistle!
It was a general internet search that tipped us off to a potential problem. The candidate's name was found in an article as the subject of an FBI sting on a potential internet sex predator. We immediately went to the national sex offender's registry, and to our dismay, found our new hire's name. When we explored the situation more carefully, we learned the candidate had a recent misdemeanor charge for solicitation, not a felony charge. Regardless, the charge was so new that it didn't show up on a criminal background report, and we're not confident it would have because it was a low level misdemeanor.
At the beginning of the hiring process, the candidate expressed confidence that their background check report would return satisfactory. When the topic was re-visited after our discovery, the candidate was shocked a problem existed since the offense was only a misdemeanor. Apparently, his attorney's advice was that pre-employment screening only searched for felonies.
Here's a summary of what we learned through this situation.
In summary, we suggest launching a background investigation with a well thought out application that does two things. First, the application should require residence details for at least ten years. Without this information, itís almost impossible to properly investigate. Lastly, your applications should require the applicant to approve investigating their background, including criminal records, at the beginning of the hiring process.
The information applicants provide should be enough to begin searching the appropriate criminal indexes, and launch a general internet search. Again, there are no guarantees. But, you now have more than a gut feeling to evaluate a potential new employee. Remember, it only takes one mistake to severely damage your brand.
As a result of this incident, UpSearch now provides a general internet search on all candidates. Although searching the internet is not a substitute for engaging a pre-employment screening firm, it does help reduce the risk of hiring someone with an unsatisfactory background.
- Shawn Upchurch
Shawn Upchurch designs customized hiring programs for companies of all sizes, as well as providing direct recruiting services. Shawn can be reached at 888.830.1904 x208 or email@example.com.
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