criminal-background-check

Are you employing criminals?

The age old piece of advice to run criminal background checks on employees is as prevalent as ever in light of the current Queensland Health debacle. After a particular employee managed to defraud the State Government of $16 million it seems almost comical that this person, who had a history of fraud related offences in [...]

The age old piece of advice to run criminal background checks on employees is as prevalent as ever in light of the current Queensland Health debacle.

After a particular employee managed to defraud the State Government of $16 million it seems almost comical that this person, who had a history of fraud related offences in New Zealand, was even hired for such an influential position in the first place. What’s even more concerning is that so much of the damage could have been avoided by simply doing a criminal background check.

Recruitment marketing expert and Employment Office Managing Director Tudor Marsden-Huggins says his company’s own statistics reveal that only 7% of his clients run criminal history checks as a part of their employee screening process.

He further states that although this figure is up from 4% last year, the small fraction of the marketing conducting background checks is a little worrying.

“It’s vitally important for employees to know who they are employing, and if they have a history of criminal activity that could put the company or its clients in jeopardy,” said Mr Marsden-Huggins.

If you are an employer, you should ask yourself these questions when considering implementing criminal checks as a part of your recruitment process:

  1. Will the employee have access to company funds or sensitive financial information?
  2. Will client relationships be jeopardized if said employee were to access private information?
  3. Have other businesses in your industry played victim to fraud, or other related criminal activities?

If you have answered yes to any of these questions, don’t panic as there are simple steps that can be integrated into any recruitment model already in existence, they can include:

  • Start simply; have you completed an internet search on potential candidates? Make sure to pay particular notice to LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook accounts.
  • Have you contacted the candidate’s listed referees? If so, have you certified that they are who they claim to be?
  • Have you actually asked the candidate if they have any past criminal activities?

Although these are all great ways to get a sense of who the candidate is, the best way to ensure peace of mind is to simply complete a criminal background check. It is estimated that one is every 25 criminal background checks disclose a criminal history, with some of these checks reporting multiple criminal offences.

Be smart and protect your business, and let’s make sure that the Queensland Health debacle doesn’t repeat itself.

If you’d like Employment Office to assist you with criminal history checks for your candidate shortlist, please call 1300 366 573