Get Protected - Blog

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Conducting Pre-Employment Reference Inquiries and Background Investigations


From a post by L Scott Harrell: 


Hiring a new employee represents a considerable and substantial investment on the part of the employer. After going through the process of posting a new position, reviewing applications and resumes, calling candidates in for interviews, interviewing the prospective new employees, selecting an employee, rejecting those candidates not selected, and putting the new employee through an extensive program of orientation and training, the last thing an employer wants is to find out they have hired a thief. A personal security investigation of prospective new employees is one way for employers to minimize the risk of loss. 

Intellectual Property Theft 

Employee theft is not limited to a retail environment where employees can steal merchandise from the store shelves or cash from the register. Some of the most blatant and catastrophic thefts today involve theft of company intellectual property, such as unfilled patent applications, potential trademarks, new product information, sales and price statistics, and other trade secrets. This property can be extremely valuable in the hands of a competitor, and its theft can considerably reduce the value of the employer’s intellectual property portfolio. 

Personal Security Investigation

A personal security investigation on a prospective employee is typically conducted after the employee has been interviewed, when the employer has developed a “short list” of desirable candidates for a new position. A prospective employee must consent to having a personal security investigation done, and the consent process will often weed out individuals who realize their reputations will not stand up to the kind of scrutiny involved with a personal security investigation. 

The Process

At a minimum, a personal security investigation will include the following: Criminal background check: The investigator will conduct a criminal background check to see what crimes the individual has been charged with or convicted of. Typically, having a criminal conviction will not preclude employment as long as the prospective employee has disclosed the conviction and explained it – especially if the conviction is remote in time and does not involve a charge of dishonesty, like theft or fraud. Credit check: A credit check is a valuable personal security investigation tool because it reveals a person’s propensity for taking responsibility for their obligations. Furthermore, it will reveal if a prospective employee is in financial trouble or has debts so immense that he or she is likely to do anything to generate the money to pay the debts. Additionally, debt that is not commensurate with an employee’s income can indicate a gambling or drug problem. Verification: Finally, a personal security investigation will verify the employment and educational information provided by the employee, to eliminate the possibility of hiring someone who has committed resume fraud by lying about their qualifications for the job.


Learn more about Barringtons Background Checking Services here.

Blayne Webb, Director, Barringtons

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