July 22nd, 2015 | Sterling

The High Cost of an Incomplete Candidate Picture

The High Cost of an Incomplete Candidate Picture  | SterlingBackcheck

Being responsible for SterlingBackcheck’s Canadian privacy program, I frequently find myself speaking to our clients about how they should avoid collecting too much personal information to stay compliant with privacy laws. While I am a firm believer in respecting applicants’ privacy and I am the first to recognize the privacy-invasive nature of some aspects of pre-employment screening, I also see first-hand the value that proper due diligence has for our clients.

On July 28th, SterlingBackcheck hosted a panel discussion in a webinar entitled “How to Avoid a Bad Hire” featuring leading labour and privacy lawyer Lorene Novakowski, Corporate People Responsibility CEO and strategic HR advisor Diana Wiesenthal, and myself. It is moderated by Linda Ferens, one of SterlingBackcheck’s veteran Account Managers. In this webinar, we discuss some of the ways that a bad hire can hurt your company’s morale, reputation and bottom line, and how a small investment in diligence can save you a great deal in the long run.

For example, does your organization conduct reference interviews? While they are one of the most popular and vital components of a hiring decision, they can easily be manipulated by applicants, who generally will only provide referees that have good things to say, and in some cases, who are willing to fib a little (or a lot) to do a friend a favour. References are important but they cannot be taken at face value and are only a piece of developing a full, accurate profile. Further investigation is required to ensure the applicant has been truthful. Our Employment Verification service, which obtains information directly from the company HR or payroll office, regularly flags employees who have been dishonest. Every day we find employees who have applied for jobs with padded resumes and bogus references and help our clients avoid hiring them.

In our panel discussion Diana presents real-world examples of employers who failed to do basic due diligence and ended up with hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage to their bottom line due to disastrous hires. In addition, I discuss some of the things that we expose to our clients every day; not just resume lies, but a history of fraud, questionable relationships and poor leadership style. Lorene also weighs in on some of the legal ramifications of bad hires.

In the end, while collecting too much personal information may infringe on your applicants’ rights and put you on the wrong side of privacy law, collecting too little may be even more harmful. There’s a delicate balance you need to strike between being thorough yet compliant. Once you understand the true costs of bad hires and the cost effective, transparent and legal ways SterlingBackcheck can help you avoid those bad hires, you’ll have the tools you need to balance between respecting your applicants’ privacy and protecting your organization’s culture and bottom line.

This publication is for informational purposes only and nothing contained in it should be construed as legal advice. We expressly disclaim any warranty or responsibility for damages arising out this information. We encourage you to consult with legal counsel regarding your specific needs. We do not undertake any duty to update previously posted materials.