Tips On How to Minimize Risks Associated With Staff Hiring

Educational institutions are well aware that their staff is what makes their campuses unique. Hiring the perfect maintenance person for that position is always a challenge, in addition to managing employee turnover. Society has witnessed the growth of employee liability, with issues such as employee theft and workplace violence. How can you trust that the candidates in front of you are who they say they are? Background screening should have a part in your hiring strategy.

Industry reports show that over 33 percent of job applicants misrepresent themselves regarding their work history, 31 percent misrepresent their educational credentials or professional licenses and nine percent of all applicants have some type of criminal record.

“An average company spends typically $7,000 to $10,000 per hire when you consider the cost of recruiting, hiring, training and turnover of employees,” said Jim Collins, vice president and general manager of LexisNexis Screening Solutions.“Organizations — especially educational institutions — have an obligation to know who they are hiring to protect their students, employees and overall reputation.”

One of the biggest issues around hiring in any organization, including custodians and maintenance staff, is the use of contractors. Often employers are very diligent about conducting background screening of employees but not so much with temporaries, vendors and contractors. They are often done blindly, through an agency or other company. Following are several tips on how to have more transparency in candidate background checks during recruitment.

• Ask for references, and call those references.
• Develop questions that will assess the experience of a candidate specific to your needs. For example,“Tell me about your custodial experience at other colleges or educational facilities?” Ask about how they handled specific situations, such as working with other custodians, and how they would handle specific scenarios.
• OHSA recommends a strong Violence in the Workplace prevention plan; California’s OSHA requires it. Beyond the disruption to the workplace and production, negligent hiring suits cost business $800,000 per suit according to Littler Mendelson, one of the leading labor law firms in the United States.
• Conduct a background check with a company that has background check solutions. Don't shortcut this step by relying on free Internet search sites that may not return reliable information on John Smith, or accurate information on the wrong John Smith.
• Background screening technologies provide quick, easy, accurate and affordable reports, sometimes in a matter of seconds. These programs can be accessed through most Web browsers so that you can verify that the person you are interviewing is who they say they are.

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