Former Nasdaq employees case is example of why pre-employment screening is so important

Donald Johnson is a prime example of why a thorough criminal background screening is needed on all employees —and why the results should be taken seriously.

Johnson, a former Nasdaq executive, recently pleaded guilty to one count of securities fraud for trading on confidential information about companies listed on the Nasdaq. In three years, Johnson acquired more than $755,000 in illegal profits, according to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

But Johnson’s story got even more interesting when it was uncovered that he had a history of fraud and drug abuse. Three years before he was hired at Nasdaq, he’d been discharged from the U.S. Army Reserves for stealing drugs from the Army hospital where rite smoke electronic cigarettes he worked as a nurse. He also had admitted to falsifying hospital records in order to steal drugs at another hospital. His nursing license was revoked in 1987, and in 1989 he was hired at Nasdaq.

According to Nasdaq, Johnson underwent a background check and a drug test when he applied there. Though times are different now, people are not. Pre-employment screening services dig into a potential employee’s criminal history and employment history to give employers the full picture on the kind of person they’re considering, and what their past says about then.

Johnson’s story is a word of warning to employers who think employee background checks are unnecessary.

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Find the Truth Behind A Prospective Employees White Lies

Let’s face it: Everyone lies. We make up little stories for our children to get them to eat their vegetables. We tell little white lies to our loved ones to save their feelings from getting hurt. And sometimes, we even pepper our resumés with misleading statements and downright falsehoods, in hopes of landing a better job.

Building a resumé is about putting one’s best face forward, highlighting our every employment experience in a positive light. But sometimes even well-intentioned employees get carried away, wanting to sound better on paper than they fear they have been in the actual workplace. And those white lies continue during the interview process, where prospective employees lie about their previous employment, their education, and sometimes even their criminal record. It’s been estimated that 10 percent of candidates have a previously undisclosed criminal record.

It’s impossible to make a clear, unbiased opinion of an applicant’s ability to do the job without first checking to make sure all the details they’ve presented to you stand as facts. The only way to do this is through a proper pre-employment screening process. Look into their background. Check their criminal record. Delve into their employment history. Have them agree to a drug test.

It’s important to find the truth behind any white lies that may have been told.

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