Internal Transfers: Employers, do you (or how do you) screen your existing employees?

When existing staff win a promotion or have a new need to access sensitive information, you are often placing them into more responsible roles which comes with a higher degree of trust.

Intuitively, you know that the risk profile of that person just went up. Do you really know that person well enough? Could confirmation bias play a role in your hiring decision? Is there something in their background that could prove them to be not credible or untrustworthy and surface at exactly the wrong time?

In other words, have you done enough to ensure stakeholders, management, owners, bosses that there is not residual risk that could impact your resources or organisation’s reputation?

It happened recently:

The Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) knows that fraud (and other hostile acts) can be prevented with more thorough background checks. In fact, ICAC places the onus on the Employer to thoroughly vet job applicants, not just the headline ‘new hires’ but also in the case of ‘internal promotions’.

What does that mean? How thorough is thorough? How do people pass these checks? What standards are being used? What specific elements constitute a satisfactory background check?Surely it should include a one-on-one Interview to ensure no disingenuous answers can creep in. It should also cover all the important dimensions – such as stressors, habits and predispositions that traditionally contribute to hostile acts and counter-productive workplace behaviours. It can also incorporate ‘black-mark’ database checks, such a police checks, or other external checks.

One way to look at this and the best example is the way commonwealth vetting agencies use clearances. They have four different levels – ranging from a Baseline security clearance through to Top Secret Positive Vetting (PV). The higher you go, the more information is gathered, the more data points are analysed and the more stringent the standards. The higher the clearance level, the more people fail.Here is an example (‘complex’ is a polite term whereby an adverse recommendation was awarded to the Candidate):

Source: Adapted from ANAO Audit of AGSVA, 2018.

What we have done is combined the recently de-classified standards, and analyse all the information from a non-discriminatory, unbiased, ‘Whole of Person’ perspective, using the Attorney Generals’ personnel standards for character and integrity.

Specifically, our Background Suitability Assessment Interview questions relate to:
Background & Family structure, Education & Employment, Personal Relationships, Allegiance & Loyalty, Substance Use, Illegal conduct, Emotional health, Financial, Personal conduct, and CV.

Which then is filtered through the lens of Attorney General’s Suitability Standards:
External loyalties, influences and associations
Personal relationships and conduct
Financial considerations
Alcohol and drug usage
Criminal history and conduct
Security attitudes and violations, and
Mental health disorders

To then analyse the Candidate’s:
Honesty, Trustworthiness, Tolerance, Maturity, Loyalty, Resilience

To Reach a conclusion and send the Employer the confidential Recommendation:
Favourable, Caution, Adverse.

Screening stops malicious trusted insiders and counter-productive workplace behaviours from disrupting workplaces, operations and reputations. Screening / vetting enables organisations to safely put the right people in the right place, at the right time. Vetting that has been built for the processing demands of a modern economy (including fast recruitment, internal transfers, tender due diligence and personnel compliance) fundamentally helps businesses, the public sector and not-for-profits reduce the pain of engaging the wrong person.

Get in touch today, for a no obligation discussion or 02 6171-4171.