From top to bottom: why screening due diligence pays

Barely a day goes by without a corporate scandal breaking – more often than not caused by poor decision-making at a senior level. Despite the impact such an incident can have on brand reputation and share value, two-thirds (66 per cent) of businesses do not consistently check that new members of their C-Suite are exactly who they claim to be and have the required skills and experience.

HireRight’s recent report, The Untouchables: Protecting Your Organisation from Leadership Risk, goes on to reveal that a reputational scandal could be lurking in a third (33 per cent) of organisations because of inadequate screening processes.

It’s not just those at the top that pose a threat: everyone from director-level to the shop floor is capable of misrepresentation to secure a role. Not hiring the right person can lead to a fall in productivity and profitability. In extreme cases, an individual could harm the company through fraud or theft. It's worrying then that last year, over half (56 per cent) of job applications contained errors.

So how can business leaders ensure their organisation is managing this risk and carrying out the right level of due diligence on potential employees?

  • Establish if you have an auditable, transparent and measurable background screening process that can be applied on a global scale. If this does not exist, insist one is implemented. A thorough procedure will help you collect the information you need to check if an applicant is capable of fulfilling a role, while also lessening the risk that they will cause harm to the business.
  • Check everyone involved in recruitment and risk understands the agreed screening process so it remains consistent and is applied as appropriate at each level.
  • Ensure that candidates are communicated with clearly from the outset to keep them engaged and cooperative.
  • Continually reassess, ensuring your system remains up to date in light of changing international laws.

Hiring anyone at any level requires trust, but there are steps that can be taken which will help protect your business and ensure it continues to succeed.

For more information on using background checking to manage employee risk visit

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