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Know Who You Are | Know Thyself

What You Should Know About White-Collar Crime


As a business owner, there are many factors that go into your company’s long-term success. Your own personal hard work and investment of time and money are just the tip of the iceberg. On a daily basis, everyone on your team is either adding to or taking away from the success of your company. Since this is the case, the hiring process is of immense importance. This is your chance to ensure that the people making up your team will be an asset rather than a liability. One of the greatest liabilities to a company is when a severely dishonest person slips into your team. Let’s look at a few things you should know about white-collar crime and how you can avoid it in your business. 

What Is White Collar Crime?

White-collar crime is defined by the FBI as any type of crime that is based on deceit and cover-up rather than on threats and violence. White-collar crimes involve money and are often perpetrated by individuals who have secured access to financial information within the company. When you are filling positions that deal directly with money, it is of vital importance that those individuals are vetted properly and screened through a national criminal background check. 

Don’t Use Lazy Recruiting

White-collar criminals can often slip in because they have a stellar resume at first glance. You as the hiring manager need to look deeper than just a first glance, though. If you are pressed for time and have many applicants to plow through, you may be tempted to simply go with the applicant who graduated from the top school or the applicant who has the most years of experience. This is lazy recruiting and could cause problems later down the road. 

Avoid being too impressed with top-name colleges. Many white-collar criminals have graduated from great schools. The school name itself cannot verify for you that a person is honest and of good character.

One of the best ways to verify an applicant’s information is to talk with past employers. The people who have already worked with the individual are the ones who really know the person and their capabilities. Even though this may take more time during the hiring phase, it could save you a world of problems and expenses later on. 

Listen To Your Other Employees 

Many white-collar crimes have been stopped because of the diligence of honest employees. Whistleblowers can be a vital part of your defense against white-collar crime in your company. If you are getting reports of suspicious behavior from your other employees concerning someone, you should listen. Sometimes an employer is reluctant to listen to these types of accusations because they know it will require a good deal of work on their part in order to investigate. This is true, but investing time and resources into investigating suspicious activity is necessary to your long-term success. You must be willing to put in this extra work in order to protect your company, your investments, and your other employees. 


Other Ways to Protect Your Business

In addition to the tips listed above, there are other steps you can take to protect your business. Conducting random, thorough audits of your financial processes by a third party can be a crucial way to detect crime. Again, this is an investment of both time and money on the part of the business owner. Many business owners would rather wait and deal with a problem when it pops up. The problem with this approach is that some white-collar crimes can go undetected for years. This can eat into your profits each year. 

The best way to protect your business from white-collar crime is to be willing to dig deeper into new recruits, listen to your other employees and invest in financial audits on a regular basis.

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