Staff Management

Safeguard Your Practice with Employee Background Checks

By Daniel Abramson, CTS

Putting prospective employees through a professional background check costs less than $50 per person. For that minimal spend, you have the security of knowing you are not hiring someone with a criminal record.

Conducting due diligence before hiring a new employee can be easily overlooked. You finally meet a person who not only fits the requirements of the open job, and who also has a good rapport with you and the rest of your team. You want to snap this person up before someone else does, so you make an offer as soon as possible. The excitement of finding the right person, however, can dampen quickly if you discover a few months later that he or she is stealing from your optical. You can reduce the chances of a proven thief (or worst) joining your practice by utilizing a service that runs a background check. These third-party services cost less than $50 per person checked and are well worth it. Case in point: The following is an e-mail exchange I received from one of my staff management consulting clients and one of her prospective employees last month.

Ask Every Applicant…

  • “Can you pass a drug test if required?”
  • “Do you have a clean background check if required?”
  • “Is there anything on the Web, such as on Facebook, that might be deemed embarrassing to you or to us as your prospective employer?”

The Hiring Manager’s Challenge

Dear Daniel:

I’m interviewing for a retail manager position.

I had a very strong candidate I recruited who was referred to me by someone at a major retailer. The candidate worked for almost five years as a manager and trainer. She was terrific on the phone and she had all the necessary skill-sets. Also, a great manager personality profile.

I talked with her three different times and exchanged multiple e-mails…but there was something I just didn’t like!

After pressing her hard on her resume and digging into her background, she sent me the e-mail below. As it turned out, she had a criminal background for larceny, forgery and drug possession and spent two years in prison. Yet she worked for two retailers in two locations without a background check!

The Job Seeker’s Concealed History

From: Susan B. [mailto:.@gmail.com]
Sent: Saturday, February 25, 2012 11:18 AM
To: Mary C.

Mary,
I appreciate the opportunity you have presented, but unfortunately I will need to decline the interview at this time. To be perfectly honest, I will more than likely not meet eligibility due to my criminal background. Although I have been successfully employed for a very long time with Cappuccino Commotion I do not think a headhunter with diligent questioning skills will find my background acceptable.

Thank you again.
Susan

Employer’s Take-Away: Don’t Waste Time
Don’t waste your time with job candidates who won’t be able to pass the most rudimentary of security tests. It pays to find out upfront if your job applicants are unacceptable due to problems in their personal history or lives. In the days of social media, note that the absence of a criminal background isn’t enough to make an applicant a safe bet. A background check is the just the first essential step; also consider the image they present to the world through their life online.

Surprise criminal or otherwise tawdry backgrounds are more common than you might think. The scenario presented in the e-mails above has happened to me at least several times over the years. So, it could happen to your office–if it hasn’t happened already–maybe unbeknown to you.

Related ROB Articles

Assess Personal Characteristics in Initial Hiring Interview

Your Top Staffing Mistakes–and How to Fix or Avoid Them

Non-Discriminatory Recruitment Language: Find the Right Employees and Protect Yourself Legally

Daniel Abramson, CTS, ispresident of StaffDynamics, a workforce performance strategies firm. Heis the author of Secrets of Hiring Top Talent. Contact: daniel@staffdynamics.biz.

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