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Human Resources

Dangers of Negligent Hiring Every HR Managers Should Know

One of the most critical purposes of every human resource manager is to make sure that the company finds the most qualified, skilled, and capable employees that will add the most value to the business. Often this involves recruiting new employment and developing knowledge of the company practices in order to maximize productivity. Although the intricacies involved in management of human resources are far more extensive than just recruitment and training alone, perhaps the most essential duty of HR management positions is to maintain adequate and ethical hiring practices. This includes pre-screening techniques that can help narrow down candidates to only the most qualified of the bunch. While these types of tactics sound most beneficial to the company, if the hiring process becomes negligent, this can become far more detrimental to a company and its reputation than simply hiring a less-than-qualified employee.

The company can legally be held responsible

The legalities that can result from negligent hiring by human resources management are dangerous to the well being of all companies, small or large. It is essential that before deciding to hire a potential candidate that the proper precautions are taken in order to preserve the integrity and prestige of the company. One such precaution is to execute background checks for all potential employees. While not completely fail-safe, background checks are an excellent source for employers to obtain more knowledge about applicants and their history. This covers some important precautionary details for HR management in regard to negligent hiring—if background checks do not include pertinent information that should very well be included, that becomes no fault of the hiring company if, or when, such information comes into question. For instance, if an employee implements violence in the workplace against another employee, the company can legally be held responsible, especially if the employer did not take proper precautions in conducting background checks or other screening methods that could reveal potential issues.

Substance abuse in the workplace

By conducting background checks, companies can eliminate potential employees who could likely put their reputation in jeopardy. Another method of employee screening that can lessen the threat of high-risk candidates is drug testing. While background checks can provide information about previous arrests, credit history, and other pertinent facts about an individual, drug screening can quickly eliminate hazardous substance abuse behavior from the workplace. While recognizing that many individuals suffer from substance abuse issues, unfortunately these behaviors can be considered high-risk for employers. In situations where an individual may cause significant harm to others or themselves while on the job, the company is legally held responsible for not ensuring the safety of the employees. Therefore, while controversial in some cases, it poses less of a threat for companies to administer drug testing to all potential employees than it does to omit a drug testing process all together and risk an employee who is under the influence of harmful substances coming to work. Furthermore, this technique has been proven to increase employee attendance records, and lessen occurrences of relapses for individuals with a prior drug history.

Discussion Between HR Managers

Legal issues regarding employees’ physical ability

Another way to eliminate danger of negligent hiring is to implement physical examination for potential employees. Physical examinations of are essential for hiring practices because they safeguard against hiring employees that have physical health conditions that could limit the extent of productivity, or even worse, could potentially injure themselves performing the designated work tasks. Physical exams may include tests of the individual’s physical capacity and health, mental health/psychological well being, and drug testing. It is important that testing be related directly to the duties and requirements of the position, that the testing is implemented after the position is presented to the potential employee, and that it is mandated to all potential employees to avoid inequity. Beyond simple physical examinations, employers may also want to conduct tests that provide information regarding the candidate’s physical abilities in regard to the tasks being performed under the job description in question—such as heavy lifting and walking long distances. In order for companies to maintain their reputability and eliminate potential legal issues, it is critical that HR management takes proper precautions that will safeguard their company’s well being. A combination of background checks, drug testing, and physical examinations drastically limits the dangers of being labeled with “negligent hiring” practices.

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Gavin Muirhead

Gavin Muirhead has been involved in developing products for background checks and improving online experiences in the background screening industry since 2012. He is the lead author and editor of Affordable Background Checks.