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HUMAN RESOURCES

How to Avoid Hiring a Crook
 

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The usual routine of reviewing and interviewing is not enough to weed out the criminals from your candidate pool. Butmany recruiters say they don' t have time to do background checks and often admit to relying on gut instinct onselecting employees.

"If you look at the headlines every day, the handsome guy that you want your daughter to marrycould be a sexual deviant, or he could be using someone else' s name," says Dennis L. DeMey, coauthor of Don' t Hire aCrook.

His book reveals some astounding statistics:

  • 29% of applicants lie about having higher education.
  • 25% lie about their duration of previous employment.
  • 23% have used other names.
  • 18% lie about criminal convictions.
  • 16% have had serious motor vehicle violations.
  • 6% supply false Social Security numbers.
"If someone is going to lie about themselves in any way, would you hire them? The answer most often is no," saysDeMey, president of ADAM Safeguard and Inquiry System of Toms River, N.J. And yet, extensive background checksare still not the norm.

Just recently DeMey, who has a background as an investigator in civil litigation matters, says he was speaking with arepresentative of a placement company and was shocked to hear that the company was not doing background checkson the candidates it submitted to its clients. The representative said it was up to the end employer to do the work.

DeMey says that if recruiters do only three checks, they should be:

  • Verify a candidate' s Social Security number through a credit bureau such as Trans Union, Equifax, or Experian, or run a credit report. This is the best way to ensure that those who are hired are, indeed, who they say they are. The data results of a Social Security number verification can contain the state of and approximate year of the number; status as an invalid, nonissued, or misused number; status on whether the number has been used to file a death claim; address(es) of the user; employer(s) of the user; the year of birth or age of the user.
  • Do a criminal history search, which can be difficult. Searches can be done only on a local level, since there aren' t any national databases and federal law only permits employers to check criminal histories of individuals from the last 7 to 10 years. DeMey advises to check on the county level.
  • Get references from prior employers. Although the trend is for prior employers to disclose as little information as possible, 32 states have laws thatprovide immunity to employers for passing on legitimate information as long as it is without malice.

Copyright Kennedy Information LLC, 800-521-0007. All rights reserved. Reproduction prohibited by law.

Last updated: Nov 1, 1999




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