“Can’t afford it,” common reference-checking excuse (Letter to the editor)

Well done regarding the reference/background-check article. (Editorial, April 23.) Some things ring more true than others and that was on the nose.

I would like to offer the perspective of a pre-employment screening firm.

Human resource representatives typically tell us: “We know what we are doing and we can’t justify spending money for hiring.”

But, consider this: The purchase of a photocopier versus hiring a new employee.

Cost of copier: $10,000. Employee's expected salary $50,000.

Copier lifespan: five years and 50,000 copies. Employee lifespan: age 65 with possible revenue generating $100,000 to $150,000 per year.

Copier purchase procedure: multiple sales interviews, three quotations, assurances, one-week on-site test drive, introduction to your workforce, training and full technical support. Employee hiring procedure: one-minute phone call sets up interview, 15-minute interview, 30 minutes of mandatory paperwork and a “good gut feeling.”

This is not a case of HR professionals not wanting to spend more time properly screening candidates, it is a matter of not having the time.

Utilizing a private agency as an option for the purpose of screening your job candidates is not only an exercise of your due diligence but a guarantee of having the facts before you in order to make a sound decision.

Lastly, the opposing question most feared by lawyers representing HR representatives on the stand is: “So, what background investigation did you do before hiring the defendant?”

Guy Parent
President
Corporate Inquiry Systems
London, Ont.

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