How to Reduce the Risk of a Bad Hire

Finding the perfect candidate with the skills you require can be an exhausting task. Even after countless hours of interviewing, you hire someone that ends up being a bad hire. Bad hires do not just create a disruption in productivity, a Bad Hire can cost your firm money. A new research study from CareerBuilder reveals that 66 percent of U.S. employers experienced losses in business last year due to bad hires.

Companies in the top 10 world economies reported lost revenue, productivity and business opportunities as a result of bad hires. A bad hire can constitute someone who did not live up to the expectations of their employer. The employee can fit into any one of the categories below.

  • Employee did not produce quality work
  • Employee did not work well with others
  • Employee had a negative attitude
  • Employee had attendance problems
  • Clients complained about the employee
  • Employee did not meet deadlines
  • Employee did not behave professionally

There are ways that you can reduce the risk of bad hire. You should request at least 3 professional references from the candidate. This should include the name of the reference, the capacity in which they worked with them, and when and where they worked with them. Asking the right questions can reduce the risk that you will hire a candidate that does not have good work ethic or one that is not a team player. You can also request writing samples to evaluate their quality of work.

Another option would be working with a staffing and recruiting firm to find the candidate for you. Even if resources are tight, working with a quality firm can eliminate the costs and labor-intensive hours of finding the right hire. Staffing and recruiting firms also offer freedom and flexibility to “try before you buy” candidates as contract, temporary or part-time workers before taking them on full-time. This will be effective because it is an excellent way to staff jobs where trial periods have proven useful in evaluating employee skills, work quality, and overall fit to the office culture. If after a certain amount of time has passed and the employee is not meeting your expectations, you will not have the hassle of terminating the employee. You can simply request that the staffing agency provide you with another candidate to evaluate their skills and abilities.

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Is Your Firm Protected from Sabotage by a Former Employee?

Making the decision to terminate an employee of your firm can be a hard task to carry out. Once you have made the decision and informed the employee that they are no longer apart of your firm, proactive measures must be taken to protect the firm’s data. Terminating an employee, whether for misconduct or a reduction in force, is almost always never a pleasant task.  Voluntary termination by an employee through resignation or retirement may not carry the negative effects of an involuntary termination, but the proactive measures should still be implemented. At times, employees may be disgruntled about losing their job. Your firm should protect itself from intentional or even unintentional sabotage by a former employee.

IT or the manager should immediately revoke all computer, network, and data access the former employee had access to. Remote access to the firm’s network and other data should be revoked immediately. The former employee should not have access to the company-owned property, such as a laptop, computer or intellectual property such as files containing client’s information, firm trade secrets and billing information.

Change Passcodes and Methods of Entry

Allowing an employee to continue to have access to privileged information about the work product of the firm or clients can lead to unwanted exposure of confidential information. If the office has a secured entrance, make sure to collect any keycards or physical key from the employee. Changing passcodes to entry of the office should be done as well. If a former employee is disgruntled, they may decide to come back into the office and destroy the property or obtain confidential company files or information.

Confiscate All Technology Devices

If the employee had a company phone or laptop, be sure to retrieve those devices before the employee leaves the property. If this is done after the fact, the former employee may refuse to return any devices. They may use this as leverage against the firm and begin to initiate demands. Get a list of all the documents and other pertinent data that the employee was using or working on. It will also be a good idea to find out what templates or documents that have been forwarded, downloaded or copied, that is property of the firm.

Email and Web Based Accounts

Restrict access to all email accounts that the employee has access to. You can create a temporary account with limited accessibility and user rights to ensure that all incoming emails from clients and other business dealings are redirected to another employee. Even if you think that the former employee would not do anything to harm the firm, lax policies can expose your whole network make your firm vulnerable to a security breach.

Just as the granting of access should be documented for future reference, the revocation of access should also be documented as well, especially for legal purposes. The results of this effort should be greater protection of the firm’s data as well as being prepared for any litigation regarding data theft, hacking, and other forms of illegal or misuse of company technology and information.

Does Your Workplace Have An Ethical Code of Conduct?

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Ethics and moral responsibility have been an issue for centuries. People as well as business sometimes a hard time distinguishing what should be done vs. what ought to be done. From a business aspect, managers have a higher degree of responsibility to uphold ethics and morals when handling company business and dealings with employees, shareholders, investors, or anyone else that has a stake in interest in the company. Ethics defines the moral composition of a person or business. The moral code of ethics is doing the right thing when no one is looking. The concept has come to mean various things to different people and organizations, but generally it comes down to knowing what it right or wrong in the workplace and doing what is right.

Managing Ethics in the Workplace

Ethics in the workplace should be a major concern to companies and employees as a whole. The ethical framework of a company defines who they are, and their reputation is built on it. A company should start by having an ethics policy in place and promote its use to everyone in the organization. Ethics policies can convey corporate values using codes of conduct and policies to guide acceptable decisions and behavior in the workplace. This should include extensive training, evaluations and promotion of the ethics policies.

“All organizations have ethics programs, but most do not know that they do,” wrote business ethics professor Stephen Brenner in the Journal of Business Ethics (1992, V11, pp. 391-399). “A corporate ethics program is made up of values, policies and activities which impact the propriety of organization behaviors.”

Doing this will increase awareness and effectively communicate the expectations of all involved. This will lead to an increase of transferred skills and behavior that demonstrate the ethical values of the company.

Ethics Reporting System

Employers should encourage their employees to report ethical wrong doing.  Having an ethics reporting system in place can have great benfits in the workplace. The accessibility, refuge and resolution of an ethics reporting system can make everyone feel more comfortable about reporting suspected ethics violations. Refuge and confidentiality are huge issues among employees, and management. They may be deterred from reporting ethics violations if they feel as though they will be retaliated against by the ones involved. The reporting system will allow them to reveal the ethics violations in confidence. This should include a phone number that they can call to report the ethical violations of a company.

Companies should encourage a positive working environment within the office. If the company itself demonstrates their belief in the code of ethics, this will define the value of the company and model of integrity that all should follow. With this in place, everyone will buy into the code of ethics and encourage them to want to do what is right.  Ethics programs cultivate strong teamwork and productivity. The attitude and behavior of everyone involved should mimic the codes in the ethics policy.

Is your workplace doing what is ethically right?

References:

Steven N. Brenner. Journal of Business Ethics 11 (5-6):391-399 (1992) … Journal of Business Ethics 81 (4):751 – 764.

How Contract Employees Can Benefit You

How Contract Employees Can Benefit You

Hiring a contract employee can benefit you in many ways. Your company may not be ready to hire someone on full time, or you may just need a person for a short amount of time to assist with a temporary project. Hiring employees in the traditional sense can be very costly. Contract employees are the best way to overcome those challenges. Contract employees work for a specific amount of time, and are usually on the payroll of a staffing company. You can retain them for as long as you want or if you only need them for a few weeks. This also gives you the opportunity to determine if you would like to hire them on full-time.

Less Risk for the Employer

This cost effective method can alleviate your company having to take on the added responsibility of adding another person to your company’s payroll, health insurance, and other factors that are involved with hiring a new person. If the contractor does not fit the culture of your office, you can terminate the relationship with ease, and replace them with another candidate if needed. You also do not have to worry about the paper work that is involved when an employee is terminated. You do not have to do an exit interview and you can reduce the chance of a reduction in employee moral when one of their colleagues is terminated.

Hire Contract Employees for a Specific Need

Another benefit of hiring contract employees is that you can utilize their skills and training for a specific amount of time. If you have an upcoming deadline, a document review project, or any other assignment that your office needs assistance on, you can hire them for a specified amount of time, and you do not have to worry about terminating them because you no longer have a need for their specific job. This gives you the flexibility to keep them as long as you need, or bring them back on an as needed basis. This way, you do not have to be consumed with hiring and training a new employee to assist with a task that will most likely be temporary.

Audition for the Employer as well as the Employee

Hiring contract employees can also be a good way to audition someone for a position that you need filled. You can determine during this trial period if you would like to make them a permanent part of your staff. This option allows you as the employer to be able to work with the contract employee and see how they perform under pressure, handle deadlines, communicate with the rest of the team, and determine if they would be a good fit for your office culture. This will relieve the cost of a bad hire. If a contract employee is not a good fit, you can end the relationship without the added risk. It also will benefit the employee to showcase their skills and abilities, also to determine if your company would be a good fit for them. This will reduce the chances of you hiring them directly and then they quit a few months down the line.

May 7th Is A Few Days Away, Have You Begun Using the Revised I-9 Form?

The revised I-9 form is mandatory for employers to start using beginning May 7, 2013. The I-9 form is used for verifying the identity and employment authorization of individuals hired for employment in the United States. All U.S. employers must ensure proper completion of I-9 form for each individual they hire for employment in the United States. This includes citizens and noncitizens. The new form was released on 03/08/13. Employers may continue to use other previously accepted revisions, (Rev.02/02/09)N and (Rev. 08/07/09)Y until May 7, 2013 date. After May 7, 2013, all employers must use the revised Form I-9 for each new employee hired in the United States.

Who is responsible?

An employer or an authorized representative of the employer must complete Section 2. Employers or their authorized representatives must physically examine the documentation presented and sign the form. You may not begin the Form I-9 process until you offer an individual a job and he or she accepts your offer.

The date the employee began employment may be a current, past or future date. Employers should enter:

  • A current date if Section 2 is completed the same day the employee begins work for pay.
  • A past date if Section 2 is completed after the employee began work for pay. Enter the actual date the employee began work for pay.
  • A future date if Section 2 is completed after the employee accepts the job offer but before he or she will begin work for pay. Enter the date the employee expects to begin work for pay.

The I-9 form will require all new hires to produce certain documentation that will verify their identity. The employer is responsible for reviewing and ensuring that the proper forms of identification are accurately completed in the sections. It is the responsibility of the employee to provide the required forms of identification to the employer upon hire. The I-9 form requires two forms of identification. A list of acceptable documentation is listed on the form.

Employers may complete Section 3 when:

  • An employee’s employment authorization or documentation of employment authorization has expired.
  • An employee is rehired within three years of the date that Form I-9 was originally completed.
  • An employee changes his or her name.

How long do you have to retain the document?

The employer is not required to file the I-9 form with the U.S Department of Homeland Security. However, the employer must retain the completed document for either three years after the date of hire or for one year after employment is terminated, whichever is later. The form must be available for inspection by authorized U.S. Government officials from the Department of Homeland Security, Department of Labor, or Department of Justice.

You can download a revised copy of the I-9 form.

A handbook for employers on guidance for completing the I-9 form is available.