It’s probably not possible to guarantee that an employer will never make a hiring mistake. Developing and implementing a pre-employment screening process that is followed consistently, however, will significantly reduce the risk of hiring the wrong person for the job to be done.
There are essentially two ways to look at adopting a candidate screening process:
- It can be viewed as a critical investment in the long-term success of a company. Remember, a company is really no better than the people who are employed by it.
- It can be thought of as a perfunctory exercise to help a company protect itself. By being able to prove that “reasonable care” was used before making a job offer, a company can avoid the risk of being sued for negligent hiring.
Obviously, the first option is the more effective way to look at candidate screening. There are still many companies, however, that take the second view and many more that ignore the process altogether.
What many employers don’t realize is that, by taking the first view, they are, by default, also taking care of the second. In other words, a good background and reference checking process will, on the one hand, reduce the likelihood of making costly hiring mistakes and, on other the other hand, be able to demonstrate easily that reasonable care was used in the hiring process.
Adopting the first approach effectively eliminates the specter of negligent hiring litigation and also significantly increases the prospect of hiring the right person – the first time.