College Background Checks

Jason Morris

Colleges and Universities in the United States have been performing lax background checks for years.  We have written time and again about our nations schools and their reluctance to conduct searches properly.  A College or University is no different than any company and some could argue their responsibilities to vet them is even greater.  In our latest story at The Ohio State University a janitor opened fire on his co-workers, it could just have easily been a student! What do we know about this janitors responsibilities? Did he have master keys to student dorms? What if he was a rapist? I ask these questions because organizations sometimes fail to conduct a proper background check because that person is “just a janitor” or “just a clerk”, what harm could they cause?  Remember Nan Toder? Nan was raped and killed in her hotel room by “just a maintenance manager”.   Having unfettered access is like having keys to the kingdom!

In our most recent example, Nataniel Brown, showed extreme signs of violence at his last job.  Before that, Amy Bishop, the University of Alabama shooter had a similar work history.  Although there is now silver bullet a simple reference check or employment verification may have disqualified them from employment.

Recently our workplace violence white paper has received a lot of publicity, I wish it wasn’t ever a story.  We don’t like to see  people hurt and/or killed!  However, we wouldn’t need the white paper if organizations vetted their employees properly.  Perhaps a review of our Employment Screening 101 series is prudent at this time for those looking to review their current policies.

Our wish is simple, please don’t make us write about workplace violence again! Listen to our advice, do things properly, protect your employees and our children!

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Jason Morris

President & Chief Operating Officer at EmployeeScreenIQ
A veteran screening and risk management professional, Jason Morris founded EmployeeScreenIQ in 1999 and acts as the company’s chief operating officer and president. Morris is a frequent speaker delivering captivating, interactive discussions on background checks, global screening, recruitment and staffing. He educates audiences in best practice initiatives as they relate to organizational employment screening programs. Morris has been quoted in numerous business and industry publications including The Wall Street Journal, MSNBC.com, USA Today, New York Times, among others. He is also a licensed private investigator in the states of Ohio, Illinois, New Jersey, Texas, Arizona and Nevada.
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  • The Brown and Bishop shootings should be a wake-up call for colleges and universities – screen your new hires! Past behavior predicts future behavior, in my opinion at least.