By Michael Cormier
If you’ve worked in HR long enough, you know how expensive it is to find and retain employees. Advertising expenses, recruiter fees, sign-on bonuses, training, travel, moving expense reimbursement—it can really add up.
And that’s just to get them onboard.
There’s also the learning curve, during which a new hire has yet to carry his weight. If you lose that new employee before he gets up to speed, add that to your losses as well.
The goal, of course, is to hire perfect candidates and retain them long-term. And a key component to that strategy is thorough background investigations conducted by a reputable firm like Hire Authority (www.hireauth.com; 508-230-5901).
A thorough background investigation can prevent a lot of headaches, while adding significantly to your bottom line. Here are a few examples of what background checks aim to avoid, and how they benefit your bottom line:
- Reinventing the Wheel: Your candidate may look good on his resume, but all applicants want to present themselves in the best light. The temptation to fudge or outright lie about job experience, education or training is strong. Hiring a candidate who really isn’t qualified may mean having to cut your losses and start all over again, an expensive nightmare. Verifying competency in advance by fleshing out what’s on a candidate’s resume could be the difference between frustration and long-term success.
- Dishonesty: See “Reinventing the Wheel” above, but don’t stop there. Dishonesty covers not only what’s on the resume, but what isn’t. And what isn’t is a candidate’s possible penchant for lying, cheating, stealing—any number of dishonest acts. Learning ahead of time whether this candidate has, for example, a criminal conviction for fraud or was fired in the past for lying to superiors can make a huge difference.
- Safety Concerns: An incompetent or dishonest employee can impact a company’s bottom line in a number of ways, not least of which is safety. For example, if a new hire working in a hazardous job claims to have skills/training/physical ability that he really doesn’t, he’s an accident just waiting to happen. The cost of damage to property and health can be enormous. Property and casualty insurance rates go up, and so do workers compensation premiums. Then there are the potential lawsuits. And all of it might have been prevented with a background check to smoke out evidence of incompetency before the accident happened.
- Legal Noncompliance: State and federal laws require licenses and training for certain jobs and professions. Failure to follow these laws can result in enormous fines. It can also lead to private lawsuits if something goes wrong. A thorough background investigation will verify these credentials. Without it, if it turns out your candidate lied about his licensing or training, who’s going to get blamed? Take a guess.
- Damage to Reputation: Whether fair or not, bad acts by employees get blamed on the company itself. And in this age of smartphones and the Internet bad stories about a company can get around almost instantly. Do you want that employee with the bad temper (who incidentally was a perfect gentleman in the interview) to bring bad will down upon your company when he verbally attacks a customer in front of everyone? A background investigation could have revealed that he’s exploded like this before.
- Negligent Hiring: Damage to your company’s reputation may not be your only worry. If Mr. Employee harmed that customer in any way—mentally or physically—you’re now facing a potential negligent hiring suit. And don’t think you’ll beat it because Mr. Employee “was a perfect gentleman in the interview.” Not in this day and age. Especially if you didn’t perform your due diligence with a professional background investigation.
- Loss Prevention Costs: If you reduce your company’s losses from safety, theft, and fraud, that translates into fewer dollars spent on loss prevention measures, such as surveillance equipment, on-site detectives, etc. That in turn can boost employee morale, which improves production.
We all understand the frustration of hidden costs in the world of business. They’re the costs that don’t always show up in budgets, and are often hard to quantify to begin with. We know they’re coming, but we can’t always prepare for them because of their amorphous nature.
The same can be said of benefits. There are hidden benefits to hiring company personnel the right way. They aren’t always apparent, and they don’t always translate immediately into hard dollars and cents. But they’re there.
And they can be substantial—far more than the cost of conducting a competent background check. So protect your company’s bottom line by retaining a reputable and highly professional background investigation firm like Hire Authority (www.hireauth.com; 508-230-5901). It’s worth it.
The foregoing should not be construed as legal advice. Employers should always consult their own legal counsel for advice on labor and employment matters.