The law does allow hiring companies to make investigations and checks on potential employees in the recruitment and selection process. Numerous companies such as Korn/Ferry have taken up the task to assist companies in making appropriate choices regarding their would-be employees. This paper discusses the various issues and aspects in the executive recruitment process in regard to the Korn/Ferry situation.
Korn/Ferry is an executive firm that was started in 1969 by Lester Korn and Richard Ferry. It started of as a medium sized company whose aim was to assist companies in searching for competent and qualified workers but has grown into a large company with numerous offices around the globe and major cities and furthermore offers a number of other financial and training services apart from being ‘search engines’. The company majorly focuses on patrolling for good employees at the same time training them to be better executives at whatever work places they will get. The company also does investigations and background checks on employees for purposes of accountability.
Some errors of company
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The company has however had some errors that are to be discussed as follows. Over the years the company boasted doing proper research to possible workers for various companies but fell short when in an ironic twist, it was discovered that the company itself did not do a proper background check on one of its employees a Mr. Christian Van Someren. This man was interviewed for a job at Korn/Ferry and in his interview mentioned that he had made a few mistakes on his corporate card at his former workplace. The Korn/Ferry recruiters decided to overlook it and decided that this Mr. Van Someren had learned his lesson (Lublin, 2002).
‘Set a thief to catch a thief’
As Lublin (2002) narrates, over the years the firm went on to give him various promotions up until recently they discovered that he had made major financial expenditure on his company credit card. He had also taken an enormous loan, fraudulently placing the company as the guarantor without informing the relevant department heads. After his discovery, Mr. Van Someren now president was removed as president and placed as a recruitment officer which has entirely a demotion. The firm thus used the idea ‘set a thief to catch a thief.’
Although the company’s integrity and competency became questioned, it has still maintained a brave face and still continues to make great profit in its field. A number of recommendations can be made to this company and many others regarding negligent hiring, the first step includes; doing a proper background check on the employee (Sangati, 2010). Check and confirm all references they have given, no matter how many, check police records and other major incidents especially if he/she is applying for a post in the financial department. Secondly call them for an interview as thoroughly analyze all their answers and also observe their body language while they answer these questions.
Another step to take is giving them a period in which their work and all activities in the company are observed just to avoid any mishaps. Unlike in the Korn/Ferry situation, their credit card activity should also be checked, the names and phone numbers they have given should also be checked to ensure that this employee is being truthful. The employee should obviously not be hired without a social security number especially in an executive company. Once the employee is a worker of the company, their movements should be monitored in that the company should have strategically placed security cameras and not only for monitoring employees but also other people within the building. The company should also perform regular audits and checks, preferably quarterly, to ensure that the use of funds is adequate and according to budget.
When a company follows all these steps, it is unlikely that they will hire employees who are thieve or are untrustworthy. Should they fail to embrace these recommendations; the company will be subject to fraud, theft, vandalism and internal crime. Crimes that are performed within an organization, usually lead to far worse consequences as clients usually loose faith in the organizations competence and integrity.
Negligent hiring refers to the failure to properly check employees resulting in the employment of someone with a history of violent and/or criminal acts (Ferguson, 2003). As in the Korn/Ferry case we see the recruiters failing to properly check Mr. Van Someren’s background and this led to serious repercussions for the company. He not only embezzled large amounts of money but caused major clients to pull out of their contracts with Korn/Ferry.
Before hiring employees, the human resource department should be aware of certain screening laws that govern the private sector, firstly, private sector employees may have a reasonable expectation of privacy in the workplace, secondly the recruiter should not ask questions such as whether the individual has filed claims or lawsuits against the former employer, whether the individual has attempted to organize a union of the employer’s worker or personal questions regarding their health for example if the employee has HIV. All these and more should be taken into consideration by any human resource department looking to hire any employee or they may lead to serious problems not only with the individual but with the state. Any racial or ethnic profiling should be avoided at all costs as the employee may file a serious lawsuit that may mean serious losses and bad publicity for the company. Should a dispute already be in progress, the firm should take adequate measures to prevent it from snowballing into an even bigger crisis.