By Trevor Taylor, Marketing –
Some years ago, I was working for a company that provided its summer employees with housing. I had been there for a few weeks when something crazy happened. I remember waking up at 3 a.m. to a banging on the door and someone shouting, “This is the police; open up! We’ve got a situation here!” All of us were dazed and confused as one of my coworker got out of bed, left his room, and opened the front door. “We’ve got reports of an attempted suicide,” the police officer said, as he stormed into our house. As the policeman searched all the rooms, he found a company employee sprawled out in his bedroom with a belt attached to a clothing rack.
I wish I could say I was surprised, but because of the way this employee handled himself, I almost expected something like this to happen. This event was preceded by countless late nights of parties with alcohol and illicit drugs that were being used in the company-owned housing. Despite being arrested for instability after the attempted suicide, this guy wasn’t fired. In fact, he moved right back in after he got out of jail. Management later found out that he was an ex-convict that had stolen thousands of dollars’ worth of inventory the company had stored in a nearby location. It wasn’t until the office relocated a few weeks later that this employee was finally let go.
Needless to say, I will not be residing in company housing for any summer sales program again.
This situation, although somewhat extreme, is an example of the damage that can occur if a company fails to employ proper pre-screening and background checks. Because of the company’s laissez-faire approach to recruiting, they hired on an ex-convict who wreaked havoc on an entire sales office.
What makes this situation even more embarrassing for the company is how easily it could have been prevented. CEO of Employment Screening Resources Lester Rosen argues there are seven risks recruiters must acknowledge. While I won’t go into detail on each point, he brings to light the legal and financial repercussions that can result from a bad hire. Among these seven risks however, there are three that stand out to me the most.
Three Risks When Hiring
An important risk Rosen points out is that every recruiting placement is like a game of “Russian Roulette.” He argues that staffing vendors can be sued for hiring an employee who was dangerous or unfit for the job. This idea fits in perfectly with another key point he makes — the fact that when recruiters are sued, the “deck is stacked against them.” This is because recruiters are charged with the responsibility to identify prospective employees who qualify for the position intellectually, morally and psychologically.
The third point made by Rosen that stood out to me was that recruiters can’t (and shouldn’t) detect bad candidates using only “gut instinct.” He reports that recruiters have a 50-50 success rate in detecting whether or not a prospective employee is lying in an interview when they do not employ other deception detection tools to help them. If recruiters are serious about getting honest and dependable employees, a background check represents the bare minimum. For recruiters who are serious about finding quality employees, additional measures should be taken to ensure that the people they select would be fit for the job.
In countries outside the U.S., a polygraph test is a typical way to screen employees for dishonesty and drug use. However, these techniques are often very costly in time and money.
An emerging technology known as EyeDetect®, a lie detection system developed by Converus, could provide a solution to this problem. This recent breakthrough in fraud detection technology enables recruiters, managers and government officials to ensure their employees are honest before something goes wrong. With an 85 percent success rate, and a time requirement of only 45 minutes for a test, EyeDetect technology will keep the “bad eggs” out at of companies for a fraction of the cost and time. Employers and government officials alike should consider EyeDetect as a solution to these serious recruiting process problems.