“I Don’t Want the Hassle of Interviewing and References, Let’s Just Fill the Position”
I was taking a walk at lunch, and happened to be passing by the back end of a local grocery store where some of the employees hang out for breaks. The above phrase… I really heard it, word for word and my jaw just about hit the pavement!
Can you imagine hiring on the basis of swiftly filling a position to check off a to-do list, and not taking the time to interview and reference a potential new hire you would be bringing into the company?
Many of our posts have been on stopping occupational fraud and abuse, how small business can put a stop to fraud, and how leaders create the company culture.
Well it all ties in together into organizational culture and leadership. From the moment you decide to hire a new employee, to preventing employee fraud and theft. Not interviewing a potential new employee and looking at references could be a disaster waiting to happen (could be – prevention is key).
When I heard the above (I was not eavesdropping but walking right past them, how could I not pay attention) it shocked me a little. This may not be a bank or a large corporation, but fraud still hurts – more so with smaller companies.
Fraud costs small businesses a median loss of $155,000, according to the ACFE. This is just too much for any small business to handle, and it’s a huge threat to the success of that small business. Employee theft and fraud of this magnitude isn’t easily absorbed into small business financials.
That employee that this local grocery store is willing to just hire without an interview could potentially be an employee who is willing to pocket goods and ‘cash register’ money. Over time, this adds up.
If a hiring manager is willing to give up interviewing and reference checks, it could be:
- That hiring manager is willing to cut corners in order to make his/her manager perceive that all processes are covered (perhaps he/she was never interviewed)
- Upper management really doesn’t care and would rather fill the position and move on
As I continued on my walk, I started to wonder about the culture at this location. Generally employees take their cues from upper management. Employees will base their actions on what upper management portrays as acceptable behaviour. If it’s acceptable behaviour to base hiring practices on an introduction and a handshake, what kind of culture does this speak of?
Now I should follow this up with stating that in my history of shopping at this particular grocery store, never have I had any inkling of an unhappy employee, or of a negative experience. Management is obviously doing something right. These people are always genuinely happy and helpful.
The point of this story is it just made me want to stress the importance of due diligence. Companies want to do all they can to prevent fraud and abuse, and upper management needs to do all it can to not participate in “creative” ways to ‘make the numbers’ or ‘get the job done’ if those “creative” ways question vision and values of that company.
It starts with a strong upper management leading by example and follows down the ranks to bringing on employees who share the goals and success of the company.
Now it’s always possible that wrongdoing can happen – in any organization – so having the tools in place to allow employees to report on the wrongs they see is another smart business decision.