The investment in time and resources that your business puts into recruiting great talent is significant and when you bring that person into the fold, they become much more than just another employee. They become an instrument of your success and you put your trust in them with access to systems and facilities but more importantly and more impactful, they become a part of what makes the culture of your business. In any relationship, personal or professional trust is the most important element.

So how can you really trust that new employee?

The reality is you don’t know them when all you have to go by is your experience or that gut feel. All too frequently companies decide against background checking new employees for reasons from a misguided view that it will save cost to an equally misguided view that it takes too long.

So what’s wrong with trusting your gut? Well trusting your gut isn’t necessarily a terrible idea if you supplement it with other factually based recruitment methodologies.

Are you really that good that you can tell everything you need to know about a person’s performance, behaviour and history from your limited interaction during the hiring process?

You may answer that question, yes, but I don’t think anyone would really believe that.

  • They may have the best CV and totally nail the interviews, however, is the CV what it seems?
  • Do they have some criminal background they haven’t disclosed?
  • Have they the skills and experience they claim?
  •  Or are they just amazing at interviews?

I think we agree, you can’t rely just on your gut but then background checks are expensive – aren’t they? Well, whenever I hear this I try not to snap.

Let’s for a moment ignore the costs of a bad hire; lets ignore lowered morale and productivity of existing team members; lets ignore the possibility of internal fraud; lets ignore internal management cost of a bad hire. Let’s just consider one element of the recruitment process. Oxford Economics research shows that just the logistical cost of recruiting a new employee is on average £5,433 (if we include a few of the factors above, referred to as the cost of lost output that rises to a staggering £30,614.) Now tell me again, that £50-£100 to carry out a background check on an employee is too expensive!

Recently someone said to me “I find out what I need to know through their social media”.

Well I’m not going to even go into that here, that’s a whole other rant from me all together. I will blog separately about that, but in the meantime answer me this…..

Where in your equality and discrimination policies could anything justify you or your hiring managers using sources that contains information on your candidates age, race, sexual orientation, religion etc. feature in your recruitment decision?

Matt Armstrong – Managing Director of Giant Group