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It is lawfully acceptable to perform various checks during recruitment and employee selection process. The process of looking up and compiling commercial records, criminal records and financial records is referred to as background check. Employers request background checks on job candidates, especially those seeking for a position that needs high security or trust. This assignment is based on Mr. Van Someren and the Korn/Ferry Company.


The Korn/Ferry Company hired Mr. Van Someren in the month of June, 1996. During the interview process, the company failed to perform a full background check on Mr. Van Someren. For this reason, the company failed to establish the fact that Mr. Van Someren had been involved different credit problems with his previous employers (Lublin, Oct 8, 2002). At Korn/Ferry, Someren was able to impress the newly hired chief executive and hence promoted to a presidency position in December, 2001. The full details of Mr. Van Someren past were discovered by the Korn/Ferry management in May, which eventually led to Mr. Someren being stripped of his position as a president. One mistake that the company committed is that of failing to perform a full background check on Mr. Van Someren prior to hiring him. If only the company had performed financial checks on Mr. Someren during the interview, the problem would not have resulted (Lublin, Oct 8, 2002).

Private-sector organizations should be keen when judging the hiring process by employers. This is due to the fact that employers and employees are the backbone of any form of organization. Hence there should be an extremely strict and strong selection procedure including pre-employment background checks. An employee’s previous employment history should be reviewed since it is lawfully acceptable and hence not considered a means of violating employee privacy. Though majority of organizations and companies desire to have good employees, it is difficult to find dependable and trustworthy people to hire. Potentiality, high qualifications and a good past is what defines quality employees. It is recommendable for employers to check criminal records, back records, credit reports and school records during background screening and checking (Bizmanualz, 2008).

Failure to conduct background screening may lead to privacy errors and lawsuits for an organization. Moreover, it may result to hiring of untrustworthy and non-dependable employees. By hiring such people, an organization may fail to meet its set goals and objectives. The other result of failure to conduct background screening is hiring employees who might pose a threat to other employees and people within the organization. Hence, in order to ensure that a work environment is safe for all employees and get rid of other hiring issues, employers should perform thorough background screening prior to hiring an employee (Walsh, 2009).

A legal theory under which employers can be accused of injuries caused by employees if it can be proved that they failed to conduct background screening is referred to as negligent hiring. Liability for negligence hiring may be possible if an employee is held responsible for harming coworkers, members of the general public or customers. Several courts have found employers liable under the grounds of negligence hiring in cases where employees with criminal records attack co-workers. The other example of a court case is when employees with a history of sexual assault rape a customer. Under such situations, employers are held accountable and guilty of negligence hiring. Substantial financial penalties including punitive and actual damages are given to employers who are found negligent in the process of hiring. Not all states recognize the negligent hiring doctrine. Moreover, different states have different standards for determination of liability (Bizmanualz, 2008).

There are some laws that human resource managers need to know concerning screening pre-hires. First of all, the managers should ensure that their private organizations comply with the American with Disabilities Act and the Fair Credit Reporting Act prior to performing background screening. Employees are required to sign a disclosure form granting permission to conduct background screening under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Different states have different laws concerning the type of information to use during background screening process (Walsh, 2009).

Employers are not allowed to use medical or disability data during the hiring process under the American Disability Act. This implies that it is inappropriate to inquire about an individuals disabilities during an interview (Walsh, 2009). The inclusions of background screening vary and a full range data may be accessed. Some of the components of the checks include criminal records, personal references, credit records, driving records, workers compensation, social security number and the academic records. Knowledge of the various laws concerning pre-screening pre-hires enables an organization to avoid costly hiring mistakes and lawsuits.


The process of making use of psychometric testing, drug testing and background to determine the identity and background of an employee is known as pre-employment screening. This process is beneficial to small businesses as well as large organizations since it prevents costly hiring mistakes and lawsuits that may result under the grounds of negligent hiring.


Bizmanualz (2008). Human resources procedures for employee management. Bizmanualz

Lublin, J. S. (Oct 8, 2002). Career Journal: Recruiters fail to check past of some hires. Wall Street Journal

Walsh, D. J. (2009). Employment law for human resource practice. Cengage Learning


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