The 8 Secrets to Ensure you Avoid Negligent Hiring

By: David Osborne

Negligent hiring litigation is a growing problem!

Screening company infocubic (2007) reveal that 30% of business failures are due to poor hiring practices (Department of Commerce), and 67% of job applicants and resumes in the U.S. contain misrepresentations (American Psychological Association). According to a national survey, American retail employees stole $10.4 billion in a one-year period (University of Florida). Business Insurance USA Today reveals that employers lose 79% of all negligent hiring suits and the average jury plaintiff award in employment lawsuit cases continues to be in excess of $1.6 million! Damages are awarded against employers because of the employer's negligence and failure to perform a reasonable search into the employee's background prior to hiring.

If you are in Australia, and are thinking, in Australia the situation is different. I would suggest a similar pattern of behaviour is exhibited throughout Australia, for example Hughes, T. and Jowitt, M. (1996) suggest that in Australia one third of all higher education qualifications are false especially PhD's. Therefore it is highly advisable to have a systematic and thorough selection process.

Below are eight ways to assist avoiding a Negligent Hiring Lawsuit.

1. Create Position Descriptions that clearly define the Business Requirements. This should be a document that clarifies exactly what someone is required to achieve, and how they are required to behave, if they are going to be successful in your company.
2. Ensure you check the validity of qualifications that are mandatory for your vacant position, e.g. Driving licenses.
3. Ensure you have a reference-checking tool that asks specific questions to see if they meet the requirements of the Position.
4. Check at least two references before you invite them in for an interview.
5. Use psychometric testing, and ensure the tests are compared to profiles of behaviors that are successful in the exact same position.
6. Ask for applicant's to provide a police clearance.
7.Build up a file of data that proves they meet the needs of the Position, or drop them from the recruitment process.
8. Do not except anything less than the best fit for your Position.

"It is a funny thing about life: If you refuse to accept anything but the best,
you very often get it."

W. Somerset Maugham

(1) (2003) 'Public Personnel Management' - USA Today
(2) Hughes, T. and Jowitt, M. (1996) 'Managing people - recruitment, selection and induction', McGraw Hill Australia p 88
(3) (2007) http://www.infocubic.net/faq.htm

David Osborne is a recruitment and performance management expert.
http://www.profitablepersonnel.com/freereport/

Human Resources
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