Corporate Cancer: An Epidemic of Dishonest Employees

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Hiring and retaining employees in today’s marketplace is a complicated situation; in fact, it’s more of a matter of life and death for most businesses.

The liabilities inherited with each job offer include employee theft, huge turnover rates, unqualified employees, negligent hiring practices and discrimination based lawsuits, and violence in the workplace.

Each of these challenges has a distinct and overwhelming effect on every business, within every market segment in every country of the world.

Quality hiring decisions build profitable and successful companies, bad employees tear them down.

All other problems aside, employee theft alone has been described as an epidemic. . . a corporate cancer… a disease murdering commercial enterprise. It has also been characterized as the fastest growing segment of rhe U. S. economy.

The estimates of the damage to the American public vary widely:

  • The U. S. Department of Commerce has estimated $50 billion dollars annually

  • The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners claims it costs in excess of $121 billion dollars every year

  • Florida State University’s 2004 National Retail Security Survey indicates that the percentage of a business’ losses caused by employees is the highest it has been in its eight previous surveys!

  • Perhaps the most shocking statistic claimed by the U. S. Small Business Administration indicates that between 30% and 40% of all business failures and bankruptcies are a direct result of losses caused by employee theft and fraud.

    Losses that include fraud and embezzlement are obvious but did you know that the loss of productivity can be even more damaging to a company than theft and that this potential for loss can be identified ahead of time?

    There is a cure for this cancer and I have the answer to this question that bothers everyone who has the responsibility to attract and find the very best (honest) employees.

    Understand first, that past performance is ALWAYS indicative of future behavior. You must completely and accurately gather all of the facts from a potential new-hire concerning previous work history, performance, attitude, criminal involvement, etc.

    In 91% of the cases we investigated for employers, we found that the identified employee was predisposed to causing loss and that he or she had participated in acts that caused losses to previous employers.

    But how do you make an informed decision when it has been PROVEN that at least 35% of all job applicants will lie to you?


    In every case in which we investigated a specific loss and were able to identify the responsible employee, we determined that the person who conducted the pre-employment interview, examined the job application and checked references, was plainly duped; lied to. They were fooled and they didn’t have a clue. In fact, not one hiring manager we surveyed had any sort of education or training in making employment decisions!

    Would you like the power to separate fact from fiction and consistently make quality-hiring decisions based on the truth? Would you like to know the secret to convincing applicants to tell you everything you need to know to make a great hiring decision next time and every time?

    You must learn how to 1) Develop honesty, as a theme, within the employment interviewing process; 2)Ask “integrity questions;” and 3) Evaluate the applicant’s responses for truthfulness.

    As a professional, entrusted with the tremendous responsibility of selecting new employees for your company, it is your duty to do everything within your capacity and the law to ensure the continued survival and bottom-line profitability of your employer.

    Great hiring decisions can be made by properly interviewing job applicants and eliminating dishonesty through proven integrity interview and pre-hire investigation strategies.

    You shape the future of your organization with the decisions you make everyday. Perhaps there is no greater feeling to realize that the hiring professional maintains this power and influence over an organization. Therefore, it is your obligation to select the very best applicants available. It is your duty to find a training program designed to quickly and thoroughly prepare you for this responsibility.

    Ultimately you will be judged by the quality of your employees, if not by a supervisor then your customers. Undoubtedly, the quality of your work will be reflected in the faces of the men and women you have chosen to represent the organization to which you belong… hopefully they will be men and women of integrity.

    L. Scott Harrell is the author of Truth or Consequences: Hiring for Integrity, a manual which completely and accurately describes proven pre-employment hiring strategies and interviewing skills developed from 14 years of experience as a private investigator and principal of CompassPoint Investigations.

    More information regarding Hiring for Integrity and other effective hiring practices can be found via his website:

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