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Ask a business leader in any industry, in any part of the country, if they have trouble hiring talent and you’re likely to hear a loud and clear yes. At a time when recruiting is difficult, it can be tempting for hiring managers to cut corners in an effort to keep their company fully staffed. However, when that entails neglecting proper vetting, such a plan can backfire spectacularly.

Hiring a candidate that is unqualified in any way, or worse, dangerous, means at the very least they will be fired and you’ll have to start the entire recruiting process over. Employee turnover is not cheap, as losing one employee can cost anywhere from 16% to 213% of their yearly salary depending on their role. Proper candidate vetting in recruiting must be an essential part of the process for businesses that want the best, most reliable talent.

Begin with the Basics

Screening candidates begins by doing the appropriate homework that can build a strong foundation for examination. This includes calling references, asking for school transcripts, looking at their LinkedIn profile, and any other legwork necessary to verify that the information they provided is true. In fact, 56% of employers have caught a lie on a resume, and they most likely did so by taking care of the basics.

Those that don’t do their homework and hire a candidate that claimed they had a certain background or skill set but didn’t invite disaster. This kind of red flag can be caught early on, and can also tip off a hiring manager to either scrutinize a candidate further or to simply disregard them before any additional time or resources are spent. Performing basic screening tasks is a great start to improving hiring and streamlining HR, but more effort is necessary for those truly wishing to adopt a successful hiring strategy.

Background Checks and Drug Screens are Necessary

Regardless of their role or skill level, your organization’s employees act as representatives of your company and must be fully screened. Background checks and drug screens are a good practice even in industries that don’t traditionally or legally require them. Their ability to pinpoint which candidates might be prone to dangerous or illegal behavior is highly valuable. While these checks and screens add cost and additional steps to the recruiting process, they produce better talent and ultimately save money.

Consider that data from Quest Diagnostics shows positive drug tests are on the rise, with illicit drug use in the American workforce at its highest level in 12 years. Likewise, the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners has found that companies lose an average of 5% of their annual revenue as a result of employee fraud. Not only can background checks and drug screens help companies avoid becoming part of these statistics, but they can increase the feeling of security in employees. If one employee has been screened they will know that their coworkers have been as well, and that can make them more comfortable working in close quarters for long hours.

Considering Liability

An incomplete vetting process for employment places a company in a risky situation. Today more than ever, employers are under heavy scrutiny to prevent harassment and discrimination in the workplace. If a candidate with a checkered or questionable past is hired and they end up harassing or discriminating against others, all attention will turn to the employer who missed the red flags. This is a huge liability for employers who wish to escape disruptions, fines, a loss of morale, bad word of mouth, and EEOC complaints. While effective employee compliance training can help most employees avoid questionable activity, it will do little to change the intentions of a candidate with serious ill intent.

Company Size Isn’t an Excuse

Smaller companies often feel they just don’t have the resources or money to conduct vital steps of the vetting process compared to giant corporations that can pay for thousands of background checks each year. In a way, this is backwards. One bad employee out of a total workforce of 15 is a much larger percentage of staff than one employee out of 5,000 workers. Logistically, that one employee in a small organization could cause much more damage to their company and coworkers. What’s a company to do when they know they must improve their candidate screening but are unable to on their own? They outsource their HR.

Proper Candidate Vetting in Recruiting

Every company wants great employees, but properly screening candidates is a major challenge for hiring managers. Simply put, the better a candidate is screened the better they will fulfill their role and mesh with company culture. Teaming up with an experienced PEO like Synergy is often the easiest, most cost-effective solution for efficiently improving recruiting and maintaining a healthy, productive workforce in the long run.