George was hired as the new operations director, replacing a very successful director of ten years. George was perfect. He had been found in a national search, in part conducted via mega, industry specific job websites. His experience with similar companies demonstrated he would be a good fit. He was hired and then…
It was two years later when the owner, Gretchen, a woman busy with business-sales travel became suspicious. Various line items on the profit and loss statement seemed out of line. One person had complained about sexual harassment regarding George. Now Gretchen took the time to look a bit more into the inconsistencies and George’s background.
A simple Internet search using a standard search engine found that George had left several jobs under duress. In fact, so much duress that it had been written up in the newspapers in the towns where he had worked.
A review of financials found that George’s expenses for meals far exceeded what might be reasonable for an inside operations guy. His wedding expenses had been charged to the company as well. Nice trip to Hawaii.
Had Gretchen done proper due diligence, including Internet search, contacting former employers, and professional background check, she might have seen a lousy credit score, the prior charges of sexual harassment, and more. (Often, former employers are reluctant to release information beyond date of hire, fearing being sued. Your individual work may be just as valuable or more.)
But, she didn’t. Now, she would need to deal with her situation, taking time, money, and emotion to fix the situation.
There are background checks that you can perform in house. Others, deeper ones can be performed by a number of companies specializing in such work. For the latter, at least, ensure you have the candidate sign a release permitting such a search.)