Today's Technology - Great Wall of China
The Great Wall of China has survived for centuries and is arguably one of the great wonders of the ancient world. Frequently billed as the only man-made object visible from space (which isn't completely accurate). Still, it is massive and certainly can be seen from low earth orbit. It was built for protection but it didn’t always work. Why not?
It’s same thing we face now in a technology driven world. The infrastructure was there but there were uniquely human weaknesses. Invading forces would often just bribe the gate keeper and they were able to penetrate the northern boarders of the great kingdom. How is this relevant to today?
We’ve all spent countless dollars to encrypt data and prevent the “bad guys” from getting our information but while we focus on bigger and taller walls, the gatekeepers are opening it up to invaders. It is vitally important that employers know who has access to their information and most importantly that the data will always be protected.
I’m not suggesting that we shouldn’t invest in cutting edge technology, virus protection, encryption etc. The message I have for employers is simple. Be careful who you hire and what access you give them. There are so many great tools out there for doing background and reference checks.
I say all this as someone who has certainly made my share of bad hiring decisions. Even with the best resources, it is tough to make the right decision. Unfortunately, the consequences of a bad choice in today’s legal environment can be devastating to a small business.
Resist the temptation to hire without doing some homework. If a candidate has made misleading representations about their background or if they have a history of burning previous employers, it’s probably best to pass. Most would agree that the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior.