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3 Hiring Risks Employers Overlook

1/9/2013 3:50:27 PM

3 Hiring Risks Employers Overlook
August 19, 2015
By Angela Rose for

A senior analytical chemist retires. A research associate moves to another state. A quality control manager takes a position with a competitor. A vendor cancels a contract. Whatever the reason, there’s now a hole to fill—and you need to do it with the best possible candidate in the least amount of time. So you advertise the position. You collect applications (or, in the case of the vendor, gather price quotes). You conduct interviews. But is that really enough? Consider these three hiring risks life science employers sometimes overlook.

1. Negligent hiring claim.
What you don’t know about a job applicant can hurt you. If one of your employees causes an accident or commits a violent crime against a coworker, it can even destroy your business. Negligent hiring lawsuits filed after events like these can cost hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars in addition to damaging your company’s reputation. The only protection is a careful hiring process. This means reviewing an application or resume and conducting an interview is not enough. You must contact personal and professional references and run a comprehensive criminal background check—even if your state or industry does not require you to do so.

2. Lost revenue.
Even without a violent history, a bad hire can result in significant costs to your organization. One Harris Interactive survey revealed that more than two-thirds of companies are affected by bad hires each year. In 41 percent of cases, each mistake costs the business at least $25,000 in lost productivity, recruitment and hiring-associated overhead. Again, collecting an application or resume and conducting an interview is not enough to prevent every bad hire. Verification of all information is necessary to eliminate candidates who have falsified their qualifications, education or experience. Training is required to help hiring managers perfect their interview skills and learn to identify warning signs. And you should never, ever let the rush to fill a position cause you to skip reference and background checks.
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3. Unsuitable vendors.
It’s not unusual for life science companies to outsource tasks like cleaning to outside vendors. While you have not hired these individuals as direct members of your staff, they are still accessing your company’s premises. This means they may come in contact with important files, computers and other equipment. Protect yourself, and your own clients, by only using cleaning companies that bond their employees. This means they’ve conducted extensive background checks on each individual. You should also conduct your own thorough investigation of any vendor you are considering—including interviews with their other clients. If this reveals issues with their quality of work, attitude or ethics, don’t hire them.

Think vendors don’t really matter? Consider an incident that happened at the New England Compounding Center years ago. An outbreak of fungal meningitis within the facility has led to 650 infections and 39 deaths. The NECC claimed that it’s the fault of UniFirst Corp, which it hired to provide once-a-month cleaning services. While the validity of those claims has yet to be substantiated, the incident still served as an indication of the importance of thoroughly vetting your vendors.

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