The practice of Background Screening among individuals and corporate organisations in the world today has not only saved a lot of businesses but has come to stay. It has helped many from impending danger, especially with the increasing rate of fraud and crime in businesses.

However some centuries ago, this was not the case, as the processes of recruiting and transacting with business associates, partners, or vendors were done only based on face value or what is called negligent hiring, and not thorough screening.  This method, however, has proven to become faulty as it gave in opportunity for abuse, as in the example below:

Sand McCoy Inc. (SMI) hired Tade Seun as Director of Finance to head its international division, the technology educational training company thought the man had impeccable credentials. He graduated with an MBA and had a glowing recommendation from his previous company.

But Tade siphoned money from the company by photocopying the Chief Operating Officer’s signature and affixing it to contracts he created and showing the bookkeeper only copies of those contracts. In total, the former Director of Finance wired millions from SMI to dummy companies he set up.

When SMI uncovered this embezzlement, it also made another discovery– Tade Seun was actually John Ogunlana, and unknown to SMI, Mr Ogunlana had served 18 months in prison for embezzling 400,000 naira from a bank before taking on the position of Director of Finance at their company.

These kinds of examples and many others are what brought about the importance of paying special details to hiring, recruiting or conducting business deals, as it is both prudent and wise for companies to protect their assets by hiring honest employees, of which the effect of not doing so can be quite damaging.

The need to hire the most qualified candidate, and the inherent risk in hiring the wrong candidate, has never been greater at this time and age. Workplace crime, unethical business practices, and misleading résumés are on the rise. The costs of fraud, embezzlement, theft and violence are a multi-billion naira drain on the economy, bleeding organisations both large and small. Furthermore, negative publicity associated with negligent hiring—especially as the result of a less than thorough background check—can devastate the very foundation of a trusted organisation. Organisations owe it to themselves and to everyone with whom they come into contact to know everything they can about their employees and volunteers, and the most effective method to accomplish this is by conducting thorough background checks.

Although majority of the Nigerian business corporations still rely on face value hiring or negligent hiring, smart businesses, however, understand that it is a huge risk, which can affect the company not only financially, but also the company’s reputation, which unfortunately, cannot be quantified with money. Also, the financial commitment on background screening is nothing compared to the cost of recruitment and training, to the disruption and impact on staff morale, to even jeopardizing the future of the business if clients leave.

All of these can be avoided to a great degree when firms and businesses choose to embrace background screening before they broker any deal or sign in a new employee. This is the way businesses thrive in the 21st century, this is the 21st century way to do business – BACKGROUND SCREENING!


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