Suppose a complete stranger came to your house and knocked on the door. When you answered, they politely introduced themself and shared a few personal stories. Some of the stories might be hard luck while others are surrounded around what a good person they are. They then ask if they can move in to your house. Would this interaction incline you to hand them the keys to your house? My gut feeling is that your answer would be NO.
Well, guess what? When you hire someone into your company without conducting a proper background check you’re essentially handing over your company’s keys to a complete stranger. You’re giving them full access to your assets, your trade secrets, your property, and your employees. Essentially, you’re letting them in your house.
Of course that is how the hiring process works. However, if you didn’t conduct a proper due diligence, you might be in for some surprises down the road. I call this the “unraveling” stage.
If you can recall some of your dating experiences, think about the first few dates…when both of you were excited, laughing and everyone is on their best behavior. You might have been thinking to yourself, this person is too good to be true. You may have even had a brief glimpse that this person might be the one! Now fast forward a few months…you’re at a restaurant and this same person lashes out at the waiter like you’ve never witnessed before. Wow, you think to yourself, I didn’t see that coming.
Yep, the unraveling stage. Those idiosyncrasies that never revealed themselves early on. Actually, they might have reared themselves, but they were so subtle and you were so smitten that you didn’t really notice. So now you think to yourself, what could I have done to recognize that short fuse? Obviously it isn’t appropriate to ask your date to sign a Disclosure and Release form to conduct a background screening on the first or second date.
However, if this person was a potential candidate for your company, you most certainly do have the right and you’re encouraged to do a proper background check. Once the Disclosure and Release is signed, a background checking company can check for criminal history, verify past employers, contact references and almost any other check necessary to perform a proper due diligence. If the applicant is applying for a sensitive or critical position, perhaps a drug test is in order.
The bottom line is don’t be fooled by a sharp looking resume or a a few decent responses during an interview. Your keys should be earned and not given to any stranger. By not conducting a thorough due diligent background check can become costly in the end. Trust, but Verify.
Michael Levy is the President of Verify Network, LLC a Background Screening and Drug Testing company located in Tampa FL. We also assist in conducting Workplace Investigations and are Certified Professional Behavioral Analysts exclusive to the DISC assessment.