Why Do Companies Hire Dishonest People?

Naturally, no reputable employer wants to hire anyone who is dishonest.  But it happens all the time!  For example:

Pennsylvania: Once every year or so, the ideal job applicant walks through the door.  ‘John Murphy’ was that person, or so it appeared.  He looked great, spoke well, knew some key things about the company where he was applying, and to top it off, he presented a solid resume which listed an honorable military reserve discharge, university degree, excellent job qualifications, and impressive list of former employers.  ‘John Murphy’ also listed his correct name and Social Security number on job applications.  As for his job references, he always used out-of-state companies and gave telephone numbers that went directly to his disposable cell phones. John knew the game.  

He only applied for management positions at retail stores which had a high volume of cash transactions. Furthermore, he only applied during busy periods or at times when stores were less likely to complete a background check before he would be working on the floor and have access to company funds. His method of operation was simple.  His alleged acts were always timed around weekends.  He knew that Sunday evenings or Monday mornings generally meant that the store would have the largest cash accumulation on-hand and that the missing money would likely not be discovered until the bank reported the shortage late on Monday or even a day or so afterward. ‘John Murphy’ was able to pull his scheme off on at least eight retail companies to the total tune of $220,000 before he was arrested at a store in New Jersey, and as you probably have guessed, where he was again in training to be an assistant manager.

Why would any employer fail to perform a quality background check on a prospective applicant, especially  when internal theft has reached an all time high, pre-employment surveys reporting that 89% of applicants are lying on resumes and job applications,  workplace violence is a legitimate threat, and negligent hiring lawsuits are on the increase? Much can be learned from the ‘John Murphy’ story as to the extent some dishonest individuals will go to in helping them to successfully get through the pre-screening process. Common-sense teaches us that when hiring any new employee, the more you know the less risk you have. As Benjamin Franklin said “An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.” $

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