21Oct

Do you really have to screen everyone? From entry level to CEOs, why screening matters


When conducting staff background screening checks, many would assume that it is only a requirement for new entry level hires or junior roles within a business. However, the need for thorough background checks on all levels of employees is essential, and one that if not carried out, could have a massive impact on a company’s reputation, share price and standing.

One of the most prominent recent instances of this was the hiring and subsequent firing after just four months of Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson in 2012. It was discovered that Thompson had padded his resume with an embellished Computer Science degree from Stonehill College, in addition to the actual real degree in Accounting he had acquired. Thompson, like so many before him made the mistake of feeling that he needed to embellish his CV with industry relevant qualifications.

It was just a matter of time before Thompson’s lie was exposed as Stonehill College didn’t even offer a Computer Science degree in the 1970s. The lie was easily identifiable and checkable and despite Thompson’s best efforts to shift the blame to a headhunting firm for amending his resume without his knowledge, they were able to easily refute his attempts at innocence and damage limitation, eventually forcing his resignation.

Thompson was already a well-established and respected businessman and had been CEO of PayPal, holding top jobs at Inovant (a subsidiary of Visa), and at Barclays Global Investors. Why he felt it necessary to invent a degree in Computer Science that would have been 35 years out of date and completely irrelevant at the time of his appointment is something only Thompson can answer. But his example shows how easily even successful and established people can fall into the trap of exaggeration and lies.

The Government’s Higher Education Degree Datacheck (HEDD) found that 40% of students and graduates had exaggerated their grades, with 31% lying about how much of the course they’d completed and 11% even claiming to have a degree when they didn’t. With such high numbers of offenders, it is always worth remembering that background checks are vital for staff at all levels.

At CBS we believe that it is crucial for every organisation to be able to make well-informed recruitment decisions no matter what level the candidate is operating at. As part of our screening services, we can carry out an in-depth and accurate qualification check that not only gives our clients peace of mind but has also helps mitigate the risks that come with a bad hire, such as occupational fraud and theft for example. We feel it is an important part of the screening process and also helps to determine a candidate’s character, ethics and suitability for the post and gives a better overall impression on how they are going to represent the organisation.  Most importantly, thorough screening prevents companies making costly and public errors.

For further information, please contact our team who will be able to help guide you through the process of conducting background checks.

Tel: 01443 799 900

Email: info@cbscreening.co.uk

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