While the vast majority of employees are law-abiding citizens, the reality is that it's very hard to tell the difference between an employee who is a danger to your business, and the other 99 out of 100 who are who they say they are. Those with criminal intent aren't going to admit their intentions, or tell the truth about their previous convictions / criminal background. Employers are at the mercy of their own (rather) uninformed discretion when looking through CVs and conducting interviews for new job positions.
It doesn't mean that their own discretion is COMPLETELY uninformed, of course. The purpose of an interview is to read between the lines being spoken by the candidate - to realise the candidate isn't going to be fully candid - they will airbrush their past to make it look the best it can be. So what is an employer to do?
If an employer is unsure, they might have to conduct objective testing to evaluate the candidate's skillset. While this can evaluate their skills, it won't really show you their character. Are they a hard worker? Do they have a moral compass? It's not the easy to work all of this out from a CV and an interview, yet it's very important. You don't want someone stealing from your business - be it office stationery or company data.
What about contacting previous employers? Yes, this is often a necessary step, though often an awkward one. An employee leaving a company isn't always done under amicable circumstances, and that's not always the fault of the employee. For example, you could have a model employee who has provided ten years of excellent service to a company, but they decided to move to another company. The employer now feels some bitterness toward the employee - a sense of rejection. While this aspect of human nature is understandable, it's also unfair toward the employee. And so, the new prospective employer MAY not get a glowing testimonial from such a bitter ex-employer. Yet again, the interviewer must weigh up the many variables that make up the person sitting in front of them at the interview.
What the employer can't do
An employer can evaluate each candidate only up to a point. Beyond that point, they will need the services of professionals to dig deeper.
Private investigators can look much deeper into an individual's past and do some thorough background checks
. They can uncover criminal convictions that aren't disclosed on their CV. They can also build up an image of the individual based on their online interactions.
What if an employer suspects an employee of stealing?
Sometimes employers simply get it wrong. Someone "slips through the net" - someone of bad character is employed. It happens. So what should an employer do if they suspect someone within the workforce is stealing company property?
Again, it's a good idea to hire private investigators who can use their skills and experience to determine who is carrying out these thefts - be it physical objects or company data. Hiring third party professionals also lends some credibility toward the evidence gathered.
Good private investigators will also give you some tips on what to look out for - a lot can be learned in the process of hiring private investigators.
Private investigators can also look into the history of potential new clients vis a vis fraud investigations
. This is particularly important if you're about to broker a long-standing relationship with such a prospective new client. It's important to know that they have a clean corporate history.