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December 19, 2013

Is that Santa or a Sex Offender?

Perhaps the biggest obstacle hiring managers fall victim to is:

Judging a book by its cover!

During the hiring process, managers are often swayed by a smooth talking, well-dressed applicant. This can lead to making big hiring mistakes that can end up devastating a company!
While it would be nice to think that all attractive, well-spoken, smartly dressed people were good and honest, that is absolutely not the case. Some of them could be hiding criminal convictions behind their bright smiles and glib answers.
This is why it is important to have a background screening process in place for every applicant!
Currently, there are over 700,000 registered sex offenders in the United States. Included in them are men, women, old people, young people, smart people, and attractive people. Sex offenders are from all walks of life. It is not just the creepy old man on the corner of the street. AND sex offenders are 4 times more likely to be arrested for a second offense as other members of the general population.

How to protect your company?
1: Change your way of thinking. Play a more objective role in determining if the applicant is a criminal. Don’t disregard the need to check a person’s background because they are nice looking or seem sweet.
2. Add set hiring practices. Depending on the position, have a set background screening process for EVERY applicant.
3. Practice consistency. Be sure that every person who hires for your company is well-educated and aware of the policy. Establish rules and create a commitment for checking a person’s background before hiring them.

An effective tool that helps in uncovering sex offenders is the National Criminal Database Search. This is a criminal search that holds millions of recorded crimes across the country in a database.
This search can expose the travelling criminal. In many cases, sex offenders will travel outside of their area of residence to commit their crimes. A regular county or state criminal search would not uncover these convictions, as the state or county of the conviction would not be searched.
The National Criminal Database Search may uncover these crimes, because it can pull information from places that were not targeted to search.
Another way the National Criminal Database Search helps in uncovering sex offenders is by running a social trace. This basically reports every address that is associated with that person’s social security number. So, if a person has omitted a place of residence where a crime was committed, this search could possibly uncover it.

For the sake of a safe and productive workplace, don’t take anyone at face value. Implement background screening processes that are relevant to the position sought. By screening out unfit or dishonest candidates up front, you can save your company tons of time and money.

~~Susan McCullah is the Marketing Project Manager/ Background Screening Division for Data Facts, Inc, a 24 year old Memphis based company. Data Facts Inc -an NAPBS accredited company- is a leading provider of employment screening solutions. Check out our website for a complete explanation of our services.

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