Tight Labor Market = Reduced Employee Background Checks?

February 20th, 2018   •   Comments Off on Tight Labor Market = Reduced Employee Background Checks?   
Tight Labor Market = Reduced Employee Background Checks?

Tight Labor Market = Reduced Background Checks?

Has the old adage, Hire Slow/Fire Fast, changed in light of the current tight labor market? Are you considering bypassing some of your effective policies geared at making solid hiring decisions in favor of hiring quickly?

In a tight labor market employers feel the pain: The work is coming in, but the talent is hard to find. Their productivity is impacted, as is customer service. Their very brand is at risk. And in high-turnover industries, such as retail, hospitality, healthcare, manufacturing, or those with low barriers to entry where the pay is low, at times the employer may feel that a body—any body—at the register, or on the line, is better than no body.

Speed or Due Diligence?

Speed, whether in the interviewing process or the screening process, poses real threats to an organization, its employees, and its bottom line. Speed must never trump quality, and consistency, and doing the right thing because it’s the right thing to do. Speed over due diligence is never the solution.

Consider the risks of hiring fast and bypassing employee background checks:

  • Individuals with spotty employment histories, poor work habits, or inability to get along with others affects the company’s culture. And what happens when your culture is compromised? It’s the ripple effect of poor hiring: Frustrated managers and supervisors, turnover, poor morale, overworked and frustrated employees who must deal with the poor work quality, poor customer service. In short, it’s your brand that is impacted.
  • Legal fees escalate. Terminations are never easy. Legal advice is often needed. Litigation may be involved.
  • The bottom line is adversely affected. The cost of replacing a bad hire is several times the individual’s annual salary. Hardly a good investment in terms of dollars, or in terms of impact to the brand.
  • Equally as alarming is the risk that, when employers require faster results from their screening company, some companies, in their desire to keep the customer, will play the odds: They will provide unfounded information, such as a criminal record being clear, or academic record being correct, knowing that in the majority of cases that would be the final outcome. If in fact they did the research at all, then find the initial/false report they provided was incorrect, they will issue a “corrected” copy of the report. Of course, that means their client has now hired an individual they may not have hired otherwise, and it means possible termination, along with the legal fees and the other pitfalls of terminations. In the end, it is also the individual who was hired who will also suffer, as they have left a prior job and must now look for another one.

Résumé Fraud

Guess who’s very aware of the fact that the job market is tight? It’s not just employers who are feeling the pinch…candidates feel it and know it too. They know the competition is fierce, and some may find the need to stand out, or differentiate themselves. It is during low unemployment periods that résumé fraud increases dramatically. In our experience, we see a rise in false academic credentials, and gaps in employment that are disguised with altered dates of employment.

Most employers say they would like the background-screening process to be expedited, but as with the earlier stages of recruiting—placing correct ads, screening candidates and interviewing them—time must be allowed for what is likely to be the most important part of the recruiting process—background checks. How else will they support their position to provide a safe workplace for their employees and customers? Why would they allow a toxic individual to alienate fragile customer relationships or morale? It is only through the timely process of checking references and conducting thorough employee background checks that these positions will be protected.

Whether reference and background checks are conducted should not ebb and flow as the economy changes. Consistency in the selection process is important, for employee and customer safety, for preservation of your company culture, your brand, and your bottom line. Are you willing to base your response to a negligent-hiring lawsuit on the economy?


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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.

Please call (800-510-4010, x 12) or email Zuni (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.

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.

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