On the job

Current Job Listings

I've been very pleased to see the uptick, although uneven, in the economy. I have a couple things on my mind this month as a result of the improvement.

With some luck we'll avoid a "double-dip" recession, but much of this depends upon the actions of our leaders. In the United States, the spate of regulatory legislation has had an unnerving effect, creating an environment in which businesses are not comfortable hiring workers or making capital investments. They will wait until they have a better understanding of the impact of new or proposed laws.

Regulations have been beneficial to the security industry in the past, and I believe they have helped to advance our cause. But regulations with broad scope, aimed at whole industry sectors or even economies, can throw us right back to where we were two years ago.

But now let me take a more optimistic view of where things are heading, then share a concern I have. As the economy continues to rebound, businesses will eventually have to increase staff in response to demand. So far this recovery has been jobless, as businesses have increased productivity among the workers they already have. At some point, that will hit a wall.

But as organizations staff back up, they need to do so intelligently and only after performing the proper due diligence on those they hire. It's well known that insiders pose the greatest risk to businesses because they can commit theft and fraud-intentional or unintentional-or acts of workplace violence, like those we see constantly on the news. It is important that businesses properly vet individuals before hiring them.

On-boarding a new employee is a time-consuming and expensive process. Getting two months, or two years, down the road only to discover that you have a problem increases the difficulty and expense of dealing with it. It can also expose the business to costly liability, on top of the financial impact of whatever theft or fraud the individual may have perpetrated.

What I find particularly concerning is the move among some states to limit businesses' ability to conduct proper background checks. Under the aegis of protecting job opportunities for people who have been convicted of some minor offense, Massachusetts recently passed a law sold as a reform of the Criminal Offender Record Information system. In reality, it hinders the ability of businesses to properly inform themselves of the background of people they are considering hiring. Experts tell me that past actions are the best indicator of future performance. But when you cannot get a clear picture of past actions, that future performance also becomes cloudy.

I urge you to carefully monitor what your legislators are up to so you can protect the best interests of your business.

That said, here's to a great recovery!

Read more about security leadership in CSOonline's Security Leadership section.

This story, "On the job" was originally published by CSO.

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