Philosophers would tell us that man is naturally selfish and so many of the evils in the world has its root in man’s selfishness. Some scholars, especially idealists have tried to refute the claim and posit that there is good in the heart of man. Whether it is true that man is full of selfishness or not is subject to debate but what is not is that there is evil in the world. It is obvious and cannot be denied. We can all see how evil prevails in many instances. That is why it is important that we protect ourselves from the evil that men do. It behoves on us the need to be cautious and not take everything as face value because whether we like it or yes, more often than not, there is more than meets the eye. It is necessary to check and make sure we are on the right path in whatever decision that we take, especially as it relates to man. In the same vein, a company would be gullible to take recruiting or hiring with levity. They would be taking serious risk if they do not rely on more than the information given to them by its applicants. This is where the issue of negligence hiring comes in. In the case of recruitment, many people have lied about themselves or exaggerated their qualifications, even when they know there is a high risk attached to the position they are applying for and going ahead with it can be dangerous to themselves and others. Thus, it is the duty of the employer to make sure he or she is not caught hiring negligently.
WHAT IS NEGLIGENCE HIRING?
For a layman, negligent hiring would be defined based on the two words that make up the term to probably mean when an employer hires without a thorough check on the employee. A layman would not be far from the definition, even though the definition above does not perfectly capture what the term means. Negligence hiring is actually a legal term or situation whereby an employer can be sued for an employee’s untrustworthy character or unskillfulness because it is expected that the employer should have known whether the employee is indeed fit for the particular position or not. Employers are expected to follow certain procedures and processes to make sure that they do not employ someone who would end up putting the organisation or the lives of the organisation’s customers or other employees in jeopardy. If the organisation cannot be bothered to find all these before employment, it can cause serious damage to the particular organisation and ignorance might not be excused because it is expected that they know everything necessary about their employees. The situation, whereby people think it is only fair that they commit a crime that they have already been accused wrongly of, works here. If it expected of the employer to do major routine check, it would be expedient that employers see that nothing stops them from properly checking their applicants before employment.
Based on what we have been saying above, it is clear that there many reasons why an employer should not avoid background checks so as to avoid all unforeseen contingencies. Sometimes, some organisations do without it because of the resources and time it would consume but the point of it is that at the end of the day, it would save them from unnecessary heart aches. Just like a candidate who has an examination to prepare for has nothing to lose by preparing thoroughly, so does an employer have nothing to lose at the end of the day by checking thoroughly people they desire to employ to their organisation.
- It is expected as an employer’s duty: One of the major reasons why it is important for an employer to conduct background checks is because it is expected of them. It might be difficult to exonerate oneself if that employee causes trouble in future. The person suing and the government would assume that the employer knows the employee has such questionable character or is unfit for the job as the case may be. So, as already stated above, the wise thing to do would be to do a thorough background so as not to be faced with issues that would otherwise have been avoidable had the right processes being carried out.
- For selecting the right person fit for the position: Background checks help hiring managers or human resources to make informed decisions on who to employ for a particular position. In a situation where there are many applicants and the hiring managers are finding it hard to make a decision, background checks always come in handy. Even if their qualifications and skills are the same, their attitude to work, character cannot be the same and something in the past can be used as the final benchmark to make an informed decision or who to hire and who not to.
- To employ the qualified candidate: Similarly to the above point, background checks also aids organisation in hiring the right person for the right position. A lot of companies have made the mistake of hiring the wrong person who seemed to have the right qualifications because of the information provided during interview. If they had done a background check, they would have been able to point out the truth. So, background checks are the way to go to confirm the right candidate for the position.
- Confirming the applicant’s information: Many applicants have been known to lie on their curriculum vitae and their interviews or exaggerate facts if they think that that would get them the job. Some of them, even knowing the risks attached to the position, still go ahead with the lies. The prevalent unemployment issue might be blamed for this desperation but what that implies for the organisation is that they need to tighten their belts. They cannot sit down comfortably and take the information provided by the applicants at face value, they have to check deeper to know what they would be getting into. It is crucial to the success of the company.
- To protect the organisation: As stated earlier, there are many people who are so selfish they would do anything to achieve their aim. They practically don’t care how they achieve it. So they would go to high lengths to cover their lurking pasts or whatever character they have. This is why an organisation cannot allow itself to be gullible and rely on whatever the applicants say or submit in their curriculum vitae during the interview. The organisation has to make sure they do a thorough job in checking the background of these applicants so they do not cause trouble in the future.
- To help prevent issues lawsuits and guilt of negligent hiring: Many organisations are faced with lawsuits that they could have avoided should they have done thorough and proper background checks. Lawsuits like sexual harassment, murder, theft, rape have beheld a lot of organisations due to lack of background checks. And on the basis of negligent hiring, they have been found guilty. To avoid situations like this, the organisations should take background checks serious. Realistically though, it is possible not to touch every aspect of the applicant’s life or find everything that should be found but if the background check is done properly, chances are slim and at least, if nothing, chances of lawsuits against the organisation would be greatly reduced.
- It helps improve working environment: When a violent person is hired to an organisation, obviously, he or she would make the working environment uncomfortable for the others. But when an organisation makes sure that they employ people with wholesome characters through thorough background checks, the workplace would be enjoyed by all. And usually, when the employees are happy, the organisation is happy. After all, it is only happy people that can produce quality service. So, the organisation would be gaining a lot by making sure of the kind of people it hires.
THE KINDS OF CHECK YOU NEED TO RUN TO AVOID NEGLIGENCE HIRING.
- Criminal background check on potential employees: This would help identify people with issues of violence, sexual assault, rape, murder and a variety of other issues.
- Employment and personal references: The point of checking this is for corroborating the information provided by the applicant. This would also reveal any hidden character problem that the applicant has that can hinder with his or her job in your organisation.
- Verify academic qualifications: Many applicants have been found to lie about their academic degrees, so you would need to check with the schools or institutions they claimed they attended to make enquiries.
- Medical records: This is usually requested for after the company decides to employ the particular person(s) but some cases might be specific in some other occupations. You might need to perform drug screening in specific industries, and require physicals in some other occupations.
- Driving records for certain occupations where the employee would be expected to drive.
- And other checks that you would find useful for the smooth running of your organisation.
Many organisations employ experts to do the background checks for a more professional job but if it is a small company, it can still be conducted by the company themselves. The major thing is that background checks should not be neglected, it is too risky.