For functional managers who may be following this blog, I can already hear the complaint about process consistency: “But I’ve got a spot to fill! I can’t wait for all this nonsense to go on. I need somebody in that job now!”
Well, that may be so, but it’s far better to take a few extra days to be safe than to rush into a hiring decision that might turn out to be a disaster down the road. The average cost of terminating an employee and finding someone else qualified to fill the position is three times the annual salary of the position! A hurried hiring decision can not only be very expensive – not just in terms of the cost of replacing someone, but also in terms of disrupting operations and damaging employee morale. One should never lose sight of the fact that there are always monetary and practical costs associated with every hiring mismatch.
Put as simply as possible, no job offer should be made until all the pre-employment screenings are done and evaluated by someone one step removed from the other steps in the hiring process. Once that’s done, assuming the candidate’s qualifications and experience fit the requirements of the job, a job offer can be authorized – but not before.
Pre-employment screening should be an institutionalized part of the hiring process. It should be seen not only as a sensible business practice, but also as a firm corporate policy. Pre-employment screening is just as important as finding out, after the fact, that the candidate has falsified something on his job application or resume!