Search
Advice » Job Hunt Strategy» Getting Started » Is Your Family Safe?
Is Your Family Safe?

Is Your Family Safe?

The Three Fields Least Likely to Check References

During the 20-plus years I've been in the performance-based reference-checking business, I've identified the three occupational groups least likely to do reference checking: public education, healthcare and banking.

Surprised? What, after all, is more important to people than the safety of their children, health and finances? Doesn't it make sense that people seeking employment in these three areas would receive the closest scrutiny? You'd think so, but the reverse appears to be true.

I've been able to come up with a couple of reasons for this disturbing scenario, based on what I've heard from people inside each occupational category. Odd as it may sound, there's an old-boy network still operating in all three. Superintendents tend to know other superintendents, because they attend so many seminars and conferences together. Hospital administrators are in the same boat. Plus, there's the mystique associated with being a doctor and an unwritten code of silence among physicians to protect each other. Bankers, it seems, just don't want to spend the money.

The following horror stories will, if nothing else, demonstrate why neglecting careful reference checking is a foolish, shortsighted thing to do.

I recall the case of the anesthesiologist who came into the surgical suite trying to eat a piece of pizza through his mask. The surgeon in charge was, to put it mildly, somewhat concerned. As it turned out, the anesthesiologist had lost his license in three states for substance abuse problems. Nobody had bothered to check.

Then there's the case of the physician being recruited by a small rural hospital. All three of his references, who were also doctors, said they would never practice with him again, that he had a substance abuse problem, was undergoing weekly psychiatric care, and, they thought, was possibly suicidal. Guess what? The hospital for which we were doing the reference checks hired him anyway! Within six months, the state police came into the hospital and removed the doctor in handcuffs for writing phony prescriptions for huge quantities of barbiturates and amphetamines for his 6-year-old daughter.

The stories of incompetent and immoral teachers in public schools are legendary. To put it simply, the easiest way for a school to get rid of a crummy teacher is to offer a glowing reference to another school. So the bad apples are continually passed around. Here's a classic example: A teacher was caught having an inappropriate relationship with a student and was given the choice of resigning or being fired. The teacher resigned in order to keep his teaching license. He went to another school district at the other end of the state and was hired. No one bothered to do more than confirm employment with the previous school. This time, the teacher was caught molesting a student. The student's parents sued the school for negligent hiring, and the school sued the former employer for negligent referral. They both won. The judgments ran into hundreds of thousands of dollars, but the financial cost is really beside the point. Don't we have some right to expect educators to do a better job screening out potentially dangerous candidates for employment? The courts increasingly seem to think we do.

Here's one more example from the banking business. A large midwestern bank hired a senior vice president on the strength of one board member's recommendation. Within less than six months, the individual hired had embezzled more than $100,000 before anyone caught on. The fallout from this fiasco was the director's resignation, the CEO's termination, and the loss of millions in deposits from customers who lost confidence in the bank. In this instance, nothing was checked.

Just within the past six months, I spoke with a senior VP of human resources for another multistate bank to discuss checking tellers' references. His reply was, "Oh, we never bother with that, because we have such high turnover among tellers. Frankly, we don't want to spend the money." Tellers probably represent the bank most to its customers, and yet this particular bank routinely employed people to handle cash without so much as verifying the truthfulness of their job applications.

These are just a few examples of why reference checking is so important in the employment process and critical in the areas of public education, healthcare and banking.

Latest Jobs

Randstad
Posted: 07/30/2014
Rockland, MA, 02370
Randstad
Posted: 07/30/2014
Billerica, MA, 01821
Bayside Solutions
Posted: 07/30/2014
Sunnyvale, CA
Bayside Solutions
Posted: 07/30/2014
San Francisco, CA
Emerson Network Power - ASCO Power Technologies
Posted: 07/30/2014
Northern, NJ

Want more personalized results?  Update Your Profile

 
 
 

Monster Communities

Teaching Community
Where teachers meet and learn.
ArtBistro
Create and connect.
Excelle
Networking for the career-minded woman.
Nursing Link
Where nurses call the shots.
More Monster Communities

Monster Partners

Scholarships
Scholarships, financial aid and more ways to pay for school.
Education.org
Find top campus and online degree programs.
Military.com
Military portal for the US Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard.
Financial Aid
Scholarships & financial aid.
Staffing for Government Jobs
Staffing and hiring solutions for federal government agency jobs.
More Monster Partners

Job Hunt Strategy

Six Ways to Make a Recruiter Hate You
If you want to blow your chances with recruiters -- and, by extension, with the companies they work for -- here are six perfect ways to do so.

Resumes & Cover Letters

Rev Up Your Resume to Relocate
Hoping to relocate? Get the ball rolling on landing the right job in the right location with these expert resume and cover letter tips.

Interviewing

100 Potential Interview Questions
Interview questions can run the gamut. You probably won't face all 100 of these, but you should still be prepared to answer at least some of them.

Salary & Benefits

10 Questions to Ask When Negotiating Salary
Most of us aren't natural negotiators, but asking these 10 questions during salary negotiations can help you get everything you deserve.

Employee Sourcing

Alt text
November Monster Employment Index Grows 13% Year-Over-Year, Tenth Consecutive Month of Positive Annual Growth.

For Seekers

Campus and Online Degrees
Advance your career and earn more with an online degree.
Free Salary Wizard
What are you worth? Find out and negotiate a better salary.
Research Careers
Get information on jobs and career paths to help guide your choices
Questions & Answers
Find answers to all your career related questions -- powered by Yahoo! Answers
Resume Distribution Service
Our distribution service puts your resume right in the hands of recruiters.
Resume Writing Services
Our experts will craft a keyword-rich resume that stands out in the crowd.
More Career Resources

For Employers

Career Ad Network
Target your job posting to more candidates on thousands of websites.
Hire Right Background Checks
Explore our background check packages to improve the quality of your hires.
Hiring Home Page
Find the best candidates for your business with Monster hiring solutions.
Job Postings
Find the right solution for your hiring needs. Starting at $99.
Power Resume Search
Monster's new search technology precisely matches people with your jobs.
Resource Center
Find staffing insights, labor trends, HR best practices and more.
Target Post
Connect with skilled, hourly and administrative candidates for only $99.

Social Media

Jobs on Twitter
Find jobs in your area and industry.
Monster Careers
Tune into our career advice and discussions tackling a wide range of topics and industries.
Monster Corporate & PR
Stay up-to-date on the latest news. Get the 'Who', 'What', 'When', and 'Why' on all things Monster related.
Monster Customer Service
Got a Monster question? We've got the answer. Whether you're a job seeker or employer, we can help you find the answers you need.
Monster for Employers
Find advice on hiring.
Follow Us
Check out our many pages and stay connected with the latest industry news, events, career advice and job openings.

Other Links

Monster Company Profiles
Explore companies and get information to guide your career decisions.
Compare Salaries
See how your pay stacks up to others in your field.
iPhone Application
Download the Monster app for iPhone and iPod touch.
Monster Job Seeker Blog
Monster Job Seeker Blog.
Monster Thinking Blog
Monster's Recruitment Trends Blog.
Jobs & Career Resources
Search Jobs:
For Employers: Post Jobs | Search Resumes | Advertise
About Monster | Work for Monster | Advertise with Us | AdChoices | Partner with Us | Investor Relations | Social Media
Terms of Use | Privacy Center | Accessibility Center | Help | Security | Contact Us | Sitemap | Mobile
©2014 Monster - All Rights Reserved U.S. Patents No. 5,832,497; 7,599,930 B1; 7,827,125 and 7,836,060 MWW - Looking for Monster Cable? - V: 2014.4.35.44-307
eTrustLogo