The risk of employee recruitment: People Risk Series (Part 2)

Imagine a situation where someone you don’t know has to come your house to stay long term and having access to all your assets and belongings. Surely this will seem risky? While we hope they are innocent, they could in fact have dire intentions such as theft, exposing confidential information about you or even bringing unwanted behaviour that may be emulated by younger members of the family.

The risk of employee recruitment: People Risk Series (Part 2)

Similarly, any business that employs people has a risk in this area, no matter how solid the recruitment process is because they do not know the person they are employing other than what they share through their CV. This article is aimed at helping prospective employees understand recruitment from an organisation’s perspective and sharing some controls to enable organisations to manage some risks inherent in recruitment.

  • Failing to get the right fit for the role: Sometimes it is not just about getting the best candidate as they may not be right for the organisation. This is not always a bad thing with respect to the prospective employee. They can either be overqualified, which means they are highly likely to get bored in that role; or their personality may not be suited for the role and organisational culture. Sometimes the employees are appropriately qualified but may not perform the role to the best of their abilities or as expected. To mitigate against this, there is normally an interview process in place after screening CVs.

On the panel, there must be experienced managers comprising an HR expert to address the culture and employee psychology aspects, a business unit manager to test competence, and another manager who is neutral to ensure that a fair process is observed. The panel must be knowledgeable in order to ask pertinent questions to ensure that they hire the best fit. To ensure that this is in place, the line managers must be coached by the HR Manager on the recruitment process as part of their development plan and be invited to some interviews of experienced recruiters as observers. Psychometric assessment/ aptitude testing/case studies may be conducted to ensure that a prospective employee’s competencies are noted from a 360 degree view. The candidate may also be given a tour of the offices before the interview to see the reality of the job. 

  • Dishonest employees: In their quest to get employed, candidates often end up being dishonest about their experience and expertise. This may lead to an inexperienced employee being hired for a role they have no capacity to undertake. Sometimes this happens through prospective employees not disclosing additional qualifications for fear of being discarded for being ‘overqualified.’ This is very common, especially in current times where jobs are scarce. To mitigate against this risk, there should be an employee background check on at least three of the roles they had said they worked in. This should be done by both mail and telephonically to ensure that there is no impersonation of the referee.

Some employees can submit fraudulent qualifications. This is a risk as the organisation could have an employee without the requisite skillsets. This will cost the organisation a huge reputation for doing substandard jobs. In mitigating this, background checks should be conducted on prospective employees through their universities or through independent private investigative firms, and engaging organisations like BQA and SAQA. Such clearance is very important in assuming a relationship of trust. A police clearance should also be included as a control to know of any previous issues of dishonesty.

  • Undisclosed chronic illness: There are instances where an organisation hires an employee who has a chronic illness that can lead to the company not benefitting from the employee who will spend most on the time on sick leave. They will also increase the possibility of the organisation incurring more costs in terms of workman’s compensation insurance as a result of an increase in claims.

To mitigate against this, there should be a full pre-hiring medical checkup. The medical screening also ensures that any contagious illnesses are identified before the prospective employee interacts with the rest of the team. It will ensure that the extent of the prospective employees’ illness is known and the company has an opportunity to decide if they will accept the risk of the employee.

  • Delays in recruitment: There is a high risk that a recruitment process can take long. This can result in burnout which the team members can suffer from as a result of the increased workload when the role continues to be vacant. To mitigate against this, the organisation must ensure that a job advert is flighted immediately when an outgoing employee initiates an exit process. It is also very important that a role analysis is done as the role might have evolved/changed or became redundant over time.

To avoid delays in the process, it is ideal to always engage with the previous incumbent as well as those who work closely with incumbent so that when the advert for the role is flighted there are clear roles and responsibilities to avoid the wrong candidates being attracted. This will help in avoiding re-advertisements, which are time consuming and costly to the business. To avoid delays, it is also ideal to have at least two candidates who are equally good to be on standby to be offered should the number one decline the offer for whatever reason.

Contribution by: MyHRBP

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