Help wanted: 3 ways to minimize new-hire risk
Friday, May 02, 2014
Great news: Companies are hiring again. In fact, today's Labor Department numbers show unemployment in the U.S. falling to 6.3 percent — the lowest figure since September 2008.
But with each new hire comes threats to the organization's integrity. From potential shifts in the culture with each new personality to actual security breaches and confidentiality of trade secrets, we invite potential threats in the door with each hiring decision.
Most organizations hedge against these risks with steps in the recruiting process like behavioral interviews and background checks. What is this person like? Does he do drugs? What is her criminal background? Is he answering the questions truthfully? Did she really get that degree? Did he used to work for our competitor? Should she be an employee or can we outsource this role? Will he fit in our culture?
Are these steps enough?
One third into 2014, some trends are emerging in what companies are doing (and not doing) to mitigate these risks. Tim Santoni, president of Santoni Worldwide is in the perfect position to articulate these trends. Clients of Santoni Investigations vary in size and industry but according to Tim, there are three common steps his most progressive clients are taking to manage new hire risk.
1. Be cautiously optimistic about hiring
While more employers are bringing on new talent this year, they are doing so mindfully. A best practice here is increasing your knowledge base. Understand what it means to hire someone with a criminal background or incorrect information on their resumes.
Perform due diligence, understand the risks and then make an informed decision about whether the pros of this candidate outweigh the cons.
2. Understand outsourcing
Many companies are using an extended workforce, via staffing agencies, consulting firms and more. The key point, Santoni states, is understanding that these workforce sources should be screened as rigorously as employees.
They will have access to intellectual property, client lists, business processes, suppliers and the rest of the information that differentiates your organization from your competition. Therefore, even if they are not direct hires, similar due diligence steps are warranted in bringing them on board.
3. Create a simple system
With growth comes change. Whether you are outsourcing the growth, doing it all yourself or some combination thereof, it is best to implement a system that your internal resources or HR department can handle.
Santoni points out that most HR teams are still lean yet bearing the burden of a now-growing organization without enjoying growth in their department. Because HR departments are asked to do so many things, finding a way to integrate staffing and onboarding tasks, managing them and implementing them efficiently is definitely necessary.
Approaching it from a project management perspective will help overworked HR professionals document a system. Once the system is captured, it is easier to see where efficiencies can be created, steps can be eliminated or outsource, and the process can become simplified.
Understand the growth plan. Map out the process to manage it. Understand the risks associated with each new hire, then work your system. These are simple, low-cost steps you can take today to lessen the risk to your organization as you continue to hire this year.
4. What are your most risk-prepared clients doing?
In other words, what do you see as best practices? Clients that are training employees on safety procedures (material handling, no cellphones while driving, how to report injuries, what to do if you witness an accident, how and where to report theft) are finding that communication with employees is increasing, claims are going down and overall threats of workplace violence are decreasing.
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