How a Financial Services Firm Used Smarter Vetting to Manage Reputational Risk
In a follow up to our article on Background Checks for the 21st Century, I sat down with Alek Filemonowicz and Tom Crump from Mint Analysis (M.INT) to discuss their approach to Smarter Vetting in more detail. I was curious to understand the impact it's had on HR’s role in recruitment, selection and beyond…
Stuart: What problem do businesses typically approach you with? Why come to M.INT specifically?
Alek: In today’s climate of public and consumer scrutiny, reputation risk is the number one concern for business leaders. Mitigating people risk is the critical first step, which is why HR and Executive teams approach us for more actionable candidate insight to better protect their business and staff when hiring.
Tom: Our clients use us as either a value-add bolt-on to their standard screening practices or as a one stop shop. In both cases, our Open Source checks deliver unique candidate-risk insight that the status quo is unable to provide.
Stuart: Are there any cases that have had an impact on HR that stand out for you?
Alek: Ultimately, the majority of the pre-employment checks that we carry out will have immediate consequence and value for HR in terms of guiding their talent and hiring strategies. There are many instances that are shocking in terms of identified public content associated with candidates that could damage a business, its brand and company culture. Without Smarter Vetting, HR can only mitigate the tip of the iceberg when it comes to candidate risks.
Tom: M.INT specialises in identifying contemporary risks that include abusive and predatory language, racist, sexist or homophobic slurs, slander, unprofessional behaviour, policy breaches, disclosure of sensitive information…the list goes on. We identify a broad range of misconduct that has material impact on HR’s capacity to hire talent that represents best fit and further reduces HR’s responsibilities throughout the lifecycle of a potential bad hire. By filtering potential problems and addressing them at the outset, we help HR conserve time and resources by diminishing the need for employee relations management, disciplinary cases, re-hiring, etc.
Stuart: You mention a range of findings, are these always behavioural?
Tom: Not necessarily. We certainly see a lot of cases that can impact workplace environments and culture – from discriminatory remarks to disparaging comments about colleagues or clients – but the returns can be more diverse and industry specific.
Stuart: Is there a case study that you can share with us?
Alek: Without divulging personal details, happy to.
Stuart: Ok great. On what basis did the client engage M.INT?
Alek: Our Client, in this instance a financial services firm, was looking to fill two senior manager positions and wanted to conduct more comprehensive screening than their traditional reference and criminal record checks would allow.
Stuart: At what stage did M.INT get involved?
Tom: In this particular case, we were engaged at the shortlisting phase, however, Smarter Vetting can be used at any stage in the hiring process.
Stuart: What was the result of your service?
Alek: Of the shortlist of five, we found two candidates with adverse results. The more severe case showed the Candidate having shared, both recently and historically, a series of homophobic and aggressively sexist content. Given the Client’s emphasis on diversity and inclusion, they determined the Candidate’s behaviour to be misaligned with the company’s values. As such, the Client was able to remove the Candidate from their shortlist saving valuable resources and time – not to mention preventing onboarding an employee who posed significant reputation risks to the organisation and current staff as well as the potential costs incurred of replacing a bad hire.
Stuart: And was the second Candidate as … colourful?
Alek: The second Candidate was found to have some minor inconsistencies in their professional resume and to have had their email accounts breached. However, once these issues were resolved the Candidate actually ended up securing one of the positions.
Tom: Specifically, the Client was able to clarify the tenure discrepancies with Candidate 2. The Candidate was unaware of the two six-month discrepancies and updated their LinkedIn profile accordingly. The Client was also able to advise the Candidate to apply stronger login credentials to that of their previous email accounts during the onboarding process to protect the integrity of the Client’s communications going forward (notified of the breach, the Candidate could also update their personal accounts).
Stuart: How did the Client find the end to end process?
Alek: By all accounts, we exceeded the Client’s expectations as we returned more actionable information in a shorter time frame than they were used to. Ultimately, the value of the product surpassed that of their traditional checks, which did not (and could not) discover the risks mentioned earlier.
Tom: I’d add that they now use M.INT for all of their senior and client-facing hires as they are particularly concerned about candidate integrity and fit. They have even started using M.INT to re-screen some of their current staff.
Stuart: Thanks for taking the time to chat to me again Alek and Tom. I’m personally really interested in how technology and innovation can enable the HR community and your Smarter Vetting tool is clearly doing that.
I’d be interested to hear from our global community if you’ve benefitted from this approach or you have experience of any other technologies that complement those of M.INT. You can get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org and if you would like to learn more about M.INT, visit their website here.