Ever Considered Human Resources Plays a Critical Role in Risk Management?

You should! Human Resources is risk managements first line of defense in creating a safe workplace. Risk Managers look at a very broad scope of potential risk areas. While every organization may have areas that draw more focus than others, generally situations that can affect their reputation such as safety, security and financial wellbeing are looked at most often. If you aren’t in the risk management field professionally, it might surprise you that the biggest risks, particularly to safety and security, more often come from employees, then from outside the organization. This is where Human Resources play a vital role.

Human Resources Play Gatekeeper

Applicants don’t get the job without going through you! Obvious, right? What may be less obvious is that a person may be “qualified” for the position you are hiring, but not qualified to work for your organization. They are not the same thing. Including questions and observations in your interview process specifically designed to predict a person’s potential future behavior and fit within your culture is crucial. Some red flags of future concerns might be disrespectful or dismissive behavior towards office personnel while waiting for an interview, making inappropriate jokes or comments during the interview, or expressing concerns about types of people or personalities. Another might be placing blame on former coworkers or bosses as the reason for the separation from the previous workplace.

Important Resources Outside an Interview

Start with references, both personal and professional. Personal references are often the people an applicant expect to speak highly of them. But, you’d be surprised how often “if I had to be honest…” prefaces a description of behaviors that may be concerning. If it is possible to interview former coworkers, use them to find out about how the applicant dealt with conflict or how they treated others while they worked together.

Should a Social Media History search be conducted? You can try to find the applicant’s profile on the major social media platforms, but this is risky. You run the chance of being influenced by information that would be legally protected and cannot be considered for hiring purposes. By having a search done professionally, you will receive a report that only highlights activity relating to intolerance/discrimination, violence, potential illegal activity or sexually explicit material. Any reported information would be legally actionable for hiring purposes.

Risk Managers and Human Resource Managers Should Collaborate

If Human Resources make a bad hiring decision, and something bad happens, it directly affects the Risk Manager’s scope of responsibility. For this reason, it makes sense that Risk Managers be aware of the background check policy and what searches are being done as part of the investigation. They should have input on what types of records might disqualify a person from being hired. Safety is everyone’s responsibility, but it starts with Human Resources and risk management.

One Source Fact:
One Source offers integrated references and a cutting-edge Social Media Hiring Report. Combine these searches with our TotalCheck or TotalCheck Plus packages and you’ll know you have one of the most complete background screening processes available today.

Greg Simmons

Greg oversees the nonprofit business development at One Source. He helps clients around the country and across a full range of industries, hire the right people by providing the most comprehensive pre-employment screening products and services.