In today’s economy, where jobs are still scarce and the competition for open positions is fierce, how does a company know they have selected the best candidate for an executive position?
Hiring at the executive level needs to be thorough and precise. Often these individuals become the face of your company. As the company voice, executives often appear in print, television and online media outlets. You want your company to carry a positive brand image, and this can be quickly damaged with a bad hire. Therefore, it is imperative to know more about your candidates than what they give you on a resume and in an interview.
Many executive screening packages only look at qualifications, work history, education and public records. To help develop the “big picture,” many companies are looking to add media screening when hiring at the executive level. Media screening is a comprehensive search through various databases to access thousands of news sources including newspapers, trade publications, professional journals, articles, transcripts and numerous others.
The results of this search can include award nominations and other achievements by the applicant, and community and industry association involvement, business and job disputes, references to criminal activity and other potentially negative information.
Media screening pulls all results from published items and periodicals that include the individual’s name and other defined criteria. This part of the screening process helps you see the kind of person you are hiring.
Media searches can complement your background screening efforts by providing information about incidents or investigations that may not be reflected in official records. Has the individual been unfavorably portrayed in the news? Are they involved with an organization that has a conflict of interest with your company?
Media screens also highlight the positives about an individual that might not come through in the interview process. Are they a volunteer? Have they taken part in speaking engagements? Are they a thought leader in the industry on a specific topic?
Employers need to weigh the information that has been ‘published’ versus what has been ‘posted.’
Media screening is just one part of the bigger picture, including litigation screening, corporate affiliation searches, bankruptcy records and even tax liens. Many companies do not know they have these additional screening features available to them, but these extra searches could be a brand differentiator.
A professional background screening vendor has access to periodical search engines and databases that can define refine and conduct your media screen. Taking this extra step provides due diligence for the organization and may help avoid costly brand damage.
About the author: Jeff Wizceb is the Vice President of Business Development and Account Management for HR Plus. Core services of HR Plus include background screening, drug testing and fingerprinting. For more than 40 years, HR Plus has provided thousands of clients with quality background screening solutions.