Think about this: according to the United States Department of Labor, each year nearly 2 million American workers report having been victims of workplace violence. Fraud committed by employees cost American companies approximately $20 billion annually, and workplace theft tops out at more than $120 billion.
Managing agents have a duty to provide the best people for the job, but disquieting statistics such as these highlight how crucial it is for anyone hired by a residential building to be reliable, trustworthy and dependable. This means that applicants need to go through a rigorous screening process to weed out candidates with records of terminations, disciplinary action, or criminal history. Hiring good people is more than just checking boxes and doing cursory interviews; some studies have shown that up to 30 percent of applications already contain false information.
According to the HireRight Benchmarking Report (www.hireright.com), a survey of nearly 1,800 human resources, talent management, recruiting, security, safety and other professionals published by HireRight, a professional screening firm based in Irvine, California, most employers require screening in order to maintain compliance with employment laws and regulations, improve the quality of hires, protect their organizations from theft and fraud and reduce employee turnover and workplace violence. These background checks can range from Social Security number verification to employee's work and educational history, credit checks and, a sometimes even a peek at their Facebook page.
“But before we even go down the road to drilling for more detail, we need to see if the applicant is actually qualified to do the job,” says Dan Wurtzel, president of Manhattan-based management company Cooper Square Realty. “So our initial screening of the applicant is their employment history.”
Before you even start on a background check however, ask for written permission. “The applicant tells of interest in the position and if that applicant is considered and found to be the right fit, a ‘contingent offer of employment’ can be made pending favorable results of background and reference checks,” says Roberta Rosenblatt Jackson, SPHR-CA, GPHR Director of Human Resources for the Touro College & University System in New York City. “That is when we can ask for written permission and you must have written specific permission once you make that contingent offer—and do not ask for that until after you make that offer.”