October 14th, 2022 | Sterling

Avoiding A ‘Trail of Horror’ When Hiring Your Management Team

According to recent reports, Tim Boyd successfully became the CEO at Christchurch City Holdings Ltd (CCHL) even though he faced multiple fraud allegations, civil lawsuits, alleged drink driving charges and active warrant for arrest in the United States, along with a restraining order taken out by an ex-fiancée.

Recruitment agency Decipher Group, who helped CCHL recruit Boyd, said civil matters in the US are not picked up by their ‘industry standard’ background checks. A lawyer for Boyd also advised that Boyd fully disclosed his work history and was not aware of any outstanding debts in the US when he applied for the position.

As these incidents were not discovered during the hiring process, Boyd was able to work as a senior adviser at the Ministry of Social Development for two years, and subsequently become the CEO of CCHL, controlling assets worth more than $4.5 billion

CCHL has advised that it is now pursuing an external review into Boyd’s employment history as well as an internal audit of all contracts and financial transactions during his tenure as CEO.

These reviews will cost CCHL significant time and money, not to mention considerable reputational risk, yet all could have been avoided if a global background screening framework have been put in place and conducted before he was hired.

Prevention Better Than Cure

Background Screening acts as due diligence to flag any candidate issues prior to making major hiring decisions. This protects companies in many ways – it mitigates reputational risk, minimises the need for rehiring, and safeguards employees and customers from interacting with people who have falsified their experience.

A thorough background screening process includes searches that are conducted globally in locations where the candidate has previously reside and work in. The screening should include adverse media searches, criminal history checks, social media screening, and reference checks with past employers

It’s particularly important to conduct comprehensive reference checks on candidates for senior management roles. Simple reliance on a CV is not sufficient as they are typically written by the candidate and presented in a way that paints them in the best light.

Reference Checks, on the other hand, offer a more genuine behavioural overview of a candidate. By speaking with colleagues and managers who have direct experience working with the candidate, honest information can be gathered about the candidate’s capabilities and suitability for the role. In the case of Boyd, several people in the US who knew Boyd described him as a sociopath. Former business associates say he lied or misrepresented information on business deals.

Holistic Background Screening helps to expose a candidate’s problematic history (if any exists) and enables recruitment teams to make well-informed hiring decisions.

How Can Sterling Help You Avoid A ‘Trail of Horror’?

Using an experienced global background screening provider like Sterling ensures that background checks are well rounded and conducted efficiently and accurately. This gives employers peace of mind, when hiring for a position of trust with full awareness and information about a candidate’s past.

Sterling has a global presence across the ANZ, APAC, EMEA and US & Canada regions, which enables us to deliver the most through background screening services on the market, with unparalleled access to official government databases.

Make sure you avoid a ‘trail of horror’ by establishing a holistic and robust screening framework at your company. Contact us here to discuss your global screening needs.

This publication is for informational purposes only and nothing contained in it should be construed as legal advice. We expressly disclaim any warranty or responsibility for damages arising out this information. We encourage you to consult with legal counsel regarding your specific needs. We do not undertake any duty to update previously posted materials.