Employment screening must be an on-going process

Let’s start with a scenario: Chong has been a trusted employee for a number of years. One day, his boss discovers funds missing from the office’s petty cash box. Further investigations reveal Chong as the last employee to have access to the funds and after much interrogation, he confesses to having long fingers.

Let’s look at another scenario: Sam has been a top-performing Sales Executive for 3 years. However, recently he has been late to work, unable to deliver sales targets and generally lacked focus and drive. After a criminal search audit on all staff, the company discovered that Sam was convicted of drug usage at an entertainment outlet.

The hard truth is that as an employer, we sometimes simply don’t know which employee to put our trust in. This is the reason why many, if not all, reputable organisations carry out pre-employment screening to help mitigate recruiting risks. But in Chong’s case, he passed all his pre-employment screening trials and proved to be a model employee for the five years he’s been with the company.

But then again, any employee might start their career with a company with a clean background. There is no guarantee, however, that this will remain the case as time goes by. From drug abuse to racking up gambling debts or even quietly starting a company to compete with the current employer, the list of unfavorable activities can range from the simple to the complex. Such activities are also no longer confined or limited to certain industries and professions.

The answer to strengthening employment risk management lies not only in the past, but also in the present. While pre-employment screening is commonplace, regular post-employment screening on existing staff is one aspect of HR that many employers take lightly. And this type of screening, conducted at regular intervals throughout an employee’s term of employment, is very important in protecting a company’s reputation, assets, customers and employees.

Worrying statistics
Data revealed in the KPMG Malaysia Fraud, Bribery and Corruption Survey 2013 show a worrying trend. For example, 68% of reported fraud cases experienced by companies were perpetrated internally by management and non-management employees. The majority of survey respondents also believe that fraud (83%), specifically bribery and corruption (90%) is a major problem for businesses in the country.