How to Hire Honest Employees

March 20th, 2017   •   no comments   

Raise Your Hand If You Want to Hire Honest Employees

Sounds like a trick question, doesn’t it? How many employers would say they want to hire dishonest employees? Not many. However, when an opening exists and the pain of the vacancy becomes greater with each passing day, employers’ resolve to seek to hire only honest candidates may wane. The question then becomes, “How much dishonesty are you willing to accept?”

Case Study

A RefCheck® client is a highly visible, highly regarded employer. They conduct thorough background checks on every candidate, whether an entry-level receptionist, a sales professional, or higher. They do so for four key reasons:

1.    To reduce the risk of employee theft;

2.    To maintain a safe workplace;

3.    To strengthen their position in the event of violence in the workplace; and

4.    Ultimately, to protect their stellar standing in the community.

A recent candidate’s criminal records were clear (they were checked in various counties, under various names used by the individual, and against databases that cast a broader net); the reported academic records were confirmed; and the drug test results were negative. Such results would normally be sufficient for some employers. Thankfully, not for this employer.

As we consistently educate our clients, reference checks are a vital component to the screening process, and in this case it was the reference checks that netted results worthy of further consideration by our client. Each of the references spoke highly of the individual’s work, his interpersonal skills, his work ethic, etc. But in the course of the focused interviews, not one, but two employers not listed by the candidate on his résumé or his application were discovered.


Further Thoughts on How to Hire Honest Employees

If you have a strong statement on your employment application asking each candidate to certify that the information they have provided is true and complete, followed by the statement that any misrepresentation found can be grounds for elimination from further consideration, or termination if discovered after hire, what would you/your company do, when you have a candidate who did not provided a completely factual employment history? What is your company’s appetite for overlooking certain facts found in the course of the background investigation? In other words,

HOW HONEST IS HONEST IN YOUR ORGANIZATION?

The answer to this question is one that deserves serious consideration by every leader in your organization, because the answer, once put into practice, is the yardstick that will be used to make hiring decisions, and will be the foundation of your company’s culture and ultimately your profitability. “It would depend on the position,” some companies may conclude, not recognizing that even a receptionist who has no access to cash has other opportunities for theft, in the form of theft of inventory or supplies, or misuse of company equipment.

Before completing a review of company hiring practices and background-screening processes, it is imperative that the most basic of questions be answered by company leadership:

  • HOW HONEST IS HONEST?
  • WHAT LAPSES IN HONESTY ARE WE WILLING TO OVERLOOK IN CANDIDATES? 
  • HOW WILLING ARE WE TO HAVE FURTHER CONVERSATION WITH A CANDIDATE REGARDING FINDINGS IN THE BACKGROUND-SCREENING PROCESS?

Please call me at (800-510-4010, x 12) or email me (zcorkerton@refcheck.com) to schedule a free, confidential analysis of your current screening practices, and to determine how RefCheck® can help you to mitigate risk, protect your bottom line, and improve hiring.

About the Author

Zuni Corkerton is the Founder and President of RefCheck® Information Services, Inc., a human resources-based firm that focuses on providing stellar employers with in-depth–not generic–background-screening services. She founded the company in 1986, when as director of employee relations for a regional bank she found that hiring blind was not a sound business option. She needed solid, objective, job-related background information on the bank’s candidates. RefCheck® helps employers to perform their due diligence in the selection process in order to protect their employees, and to protect their organizations from the risks inherent in the selection process: employee theft, workplace violence, and negligent-hiring and negligent-retention allegations. Adherence to federal and state laws is of paramount importance to the company.


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Notice: Nothing in the material provided is intended to be or should be relied upon as legal advice. Readers are strongly advised to seek legal counsel. The author is not an attorney, and the information provided is for informational purposes only. Neither the author nor RefCheck® is engaged in rendering legal advice.