Ann: “Cutting Edge, this is Ann.”
Customer: “I make my decisions with my gut. I can look at an applicant and know if they are bullsquacking me.”
Ann (raises eyebrows): “Bullsquacking?
Customer: “I’m keeping it clean for the kids that no doubt read your blog.”
Ann: “Ah (thinks fondly of her legions of fans). So, let me tie that in with our baseball theme for June. Emotional decisions and when they should play into your background screening process and baseball.”
Customer: “I’m getting peanuts, beer and hot dog for this one.”
Ann: “Get two dogs. Extra mustard.”
THE EMOTIONAL ELEMENTS OF BASEBALL AND BACKGROUND CHECKS
In baseball, opening day means there is a 30-way tie for first place.
At work, a smile and a handshake in your first meeting mean your applicant is squeaky clean and going to be the best there ever was.
Opening day means the end of winter, there is a feeling of intense euphoria where the unpredictable can and will happen.
Then, at the end of opening day there are 15 teams in (depending on how you look at it) second or tied for last place – your perspective determines how you view the facts.
You get the background check back on that applicant that you had such a great gut feeling about and you see domestic violence convictions, DUI’s, outstanding warrants and she doesn’t have a valid driver’s license. In this scenario, facts are facts and your perspective doesn’t soften the situation.
Sometimes, you might think, it’s easier not to know. I had a client like that many years ago. She ran a construction firm. I reported charges like the above to her. She told me, “That applicant is the best worker on my crew.” Her response was to stop doing background checks.
Maybe that worked in 1997. In 2019, we have lawsuits for negligent hiring and negligent retention. If you knew your applicant could be a liability to your assets, your other employees or your customers the courts have held that you are responsible to know that—or make a reasonable effort to do so.
I recommend you listen to your heart but follow an objective set of rules to guide your decisions. Start with the background check.