Keep Your Eye on the Ball

Ann: “Cutting Edge, this is Ann.”

Customer: “I heard you took in an Angel’s game this weekend.”

Ann (tosses baseball cap onto the hatrack): “We did! (Hums “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.”) Would you like to know what I saw that reminds me that baseball and background checks are so similar?

Customer: “I cannot wait to see how you tie baseball to background checks.”

Ann: “Of course you can’t.”


True story: A woman was sitting in one of the front rows of the stadium, the batter swung, and the ball hit her smack in the face. Blood. Paramedics. Broken nose. Black eyes. Missing teeth.

In other words, pay attention to the situation.

A client called me yesterday. We reported that her applicant, Barry had several convictions in New Mexico and warrants outstanding in Arizona. Barry said, “Wait! It’s not me! Someone stole my identity.” Barry proceeded to send my client a copy of a letter from a private investigator who was evidently investigating Barry’s claims of identity theft. The investigator’s letter claimed that Barry’s prior attorney resolved other claims of identity theft in the Albuquerque courts, but now they think there were instances in other states.

So. We have a letter that proves nothing. The letter doesn’t prove that someone was using Barry’s identity fraudulently. It just evidences that they claim they are looking into it, and they claim Barry’s attorney resolved this issue in court.

I suggested my client go back to Barry, he should have some court documents that prove he was erroneously charged with a crime or in a civil matter and that this was resolved.

Luckily, my client did not say, “this is great, a letter!”, she would have let her eyes off the ball, and missed the realization that it was nothing more than a claim—no evidence. She might have ended up with the hiring equivalent of a broken nose and missing teeth. A negligent hire.

Background checks are the best tool to ensure you don’t end up with the hiring equivalent of a foul ball in the kisser. Be sure you perform the checks you need to in order to get the clearest picture of your applicants.