Who’s Knocking on Your Door?
(An actual occurrence)
The small, private university’s press release read in part, “We are pleased to announce the hiring of Mr. Gary X as our new women’s soccer coach.” “Mr. X starts on Monday. ”The region’s largest newspaper received the press release and a reporter began preparing for the news article. To get additional insight for the story, the reporter performed an Internet search of Mr. X. and within minutes, the reporter learned that this same Mr. X was recently released from prison, having been convicted of the rape(s) of his former high school students. Yes, he was formerly the girls’ soccer coach at a high school several states away and had been arrested after a scandalous episode that rocked the local community.
Did the college order a background check? They said they did. But for yet-to-be determined reasons, their background screening service did not uncover the convictions – although the court records pertaining to Coach X’s arrest, court case and prison sentence, were readily available and the several news articles relating to this case were found on the Internet. It seems that no one at the college bothered to perform a cursory Internet search of the candidate and the background company the college utilized, simply failed (apparently). (By the way, the coach’s actual name was extremely unique and popped-up immediately on the Internet.) If the university’s background company had employed best practices and reasonable diligence, they should have routinely discovered the coaches’ criminal history – including his current status as a registered sex offender. Why this information was not found is a subject for speculation and serious concern.
The resulting story the local newspaper actually ran was not about the new coach who starts on Monday, it was about how the university hired a convicted felon and registered sex offender as the new woman’s soccer coach and was scheduled to start on Monday.
Thanks to an inquisitive newspaper reporter, further potential disaster was avoided at literally the last minute – although the embarrassment factor was extreme. Lesson learned!
We use this fairly recent actual scenario, only to illustrate just how important it is to have a competent and consistent background screening and verification program in place.
(The above occurrence is but one of thousands of nightmarish scenarios that have resulted in whole or in part, from employers not performing adequate or effective employment background checks or from using screening companies that are either incompetent or use substandard methodology or both. Sadly, some of the past incidents have had far more tragic consequences.)
Best practices background checks will help you avoid costly hiring mistakes by:
Identifying job candidates who attempt to pass false credentials and fraudulent Resumes.
Discovering criminal history which can indicate propensities for violence, criminality, recklessness, stalking, harassment, alcohol & substance abuse, theft / embezzlement etc.
Additional Benefits of Performing Effective Background Screening:
Consistent and effective background screening will support integrity standards within your organization, which will protect your company’s reputation and improve operational efficiencies — while also demonstrating due diligence and careful hiring practices. And that’s essential to protecting your employees, customers and your bottom line!
In addition, consistent and effective background checks can help insulate your organization from claims of negligent. (Perhaps among the most important reasons to conduct adequate screenings.)