The recent story of the CEO of a luggage manufacturer and retailer company, falsely claiming academic credentials to gain a high-level position, serves as a clear reminder of the need for rigorous screening of employees at all levels. This brings an interesting question when one considers the position of high-end recruitment agencies, for whom there is clearly not the same incentive to screen candidates because they are not the ultimate employers.
Thus, it is safe to say that the onus is on the employer to conduct screening because the amount of investment by the employer is more than that of the recruiter. At the employer firm, it is the responsibility of the Human Resources team to move beyond screening and “profile” prospective employees. Where “screening” only involves verification of resume claims, “profiling” provides greater insights into a candidate’s personality characteristics.
To quote from the modern management Guru, Peter Drucker, “The toughest decisions in organisations are people decisions – hiring, promoting, firing, etc. The ability to make good decisions regarding people represents one of the last reliable sources of competitive advantage since very few organisations are very good at it”. In recruitment, the selection process is complex because of the afore-quoted diversification. To complicate the situation, each job role also requires a different set of skills and competencies. So selection is primarily a matter of matching the right job with the right people.
Sun Tzu in “The Art of War” book said, “a skilled commander selects his men according to their talents and uses them to exploit the situation”. In organisational context, this concept is similar because human resources want to find the best talent (knowledge, skills, and personality) to fill in vacancies. More often than not, psychometric profiling helps measure a person’s aptitude and suitability for the job by exploring match between candidate and the role. Asking a series of questions can also reveal candidate’s strengths and weaknesses.
Further, the leadership team to create a secure ecosystem that is beyond policies and involves the application of security protocols. With the emergence of complexities and sensitivities associated with data-driven organisations, the mere presence of data-protection tools is not enough until accompanied by deep monitoring. Following practices should be laid down by the leadership team –
- Attitudes and awareness
- Skills, knowledge, and training
- Security planning
- Assignment of responsibilities
- Ownership and compliance
- Response to indicators and incidents
- Regular evaluations
In conclusion, comprehensive pre-employment profiling and screening give a business the designation of a compliant and trustworthy entity. Whether you are hiring an employee/supplier/partner or merging and acquiring a business, screening is essential. Forewarned is forearmed and an effective internal risk mitigation strategy is key to an informed business decision.
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