In this tale, the cluefree one is me.
I was in my first HR management role, and recruiting was a big part of my job. We had this candidate, and he was fabulous. This was in a market where it was tough to find great people, and we felt like we’d really lucked out with this guy. He was smart, he was charming, he had loads of experience, and we just knew clients would love him. The only problem was that his background check was taking too long, and we really wanted to start him on Monday, because we did orientation every other Monday and we didn’t want to screw up the schedule. He seemed great, and I figured, what could go wrong? I was sure the background check would be fine, and if not, well, we’d deal with it. The types of things we normally saw were marijuana possession, disorderly conduct…stuff we’d fire you for if you didn’t disclose it on the application, but no violent criminals or anything. We made the offer, with the standard line: “This offer is contingent upon successful completion of a background check.”
The background check came back on his third day of employment. I heard the fax machine start up (this was a long time ago, when people still used fax machines). The pages started to crank out…and kept coming…and kept coming. I thought, “Who is sending me this long fax?”
Turns out this charming guy we’d hired, the guy who was next door to my office in New Hire Orientation, was wanted by the police in another state. He had (allegedly) stolen the social security cards and credit cards of some of his co-workers at two previous companies. He was also accused of stealing computers and other equipment from them.
The best part, though, was the assault charge. Apparently, when they actually fired him at the last company, he (allegedly) attacked the HR person, and put her in the hospital. He had previous assaults and con-man type stuff on his record too.
And he was in the next room, and I had to pull him into my office and fire him. Oh, and did I mention he lived 1,000 miles away? Yep. So we had to get him to the airport and on a plane too.
He didn’t assault me. In fact, he took it pretty well. In fact, the only thing he asked was whether he could have a list of the Social Security numbers attributed to him. We later found out that this was because he (allegedly) was using at least five of them.
He never got on the plane home, either, probably because he figured we’d notified the police that he was coming home because of the outstanding warrent. I still wonder how he got back.
And THAT is why you can’t start the job until your background check is in, even if it’s taking forever.
Tales of the Cluefree appear pretty much every Friday. Past stories are here.
Photo by bradleyjames