Half of CEOs subjected to ‘fewer checks than graduates’

Almost half (45%) of HR directors admit they know of companies where potential CEOs go through fewer checks than graduate candidates during recruitment, according to research by HireRight.

The report The Untouchables: Protecting your organisation is based on a poll of senior HR leaders from almost 150 companies. It revealed that 27% admit CEOs are subjected to less scrutiny than graduates in their own company.

Almost one-third (31%) of CEOs do not go through any ‘due diligence’ during their appointment. Additionally, two-thirds of companies consistently fail to perform any background checks on new members of their C-suite.

As a result nearly one-quarter (24%) of HR leaders believe board members at their company may never have had their work history or academic claims properly verified.

HireRight MD EMEA Steve Girdler told HR magazine companies are leaving themselves open to “genuine reputational risk” by failing to screen their executives.

“If you look at someone like Paul Flowers, who wasn’t screened, so much damage to the company’s brand could have been avoided with a few simple checks,” he said.

“Sometimes there can be an element of fear around HR professionals asking these people questions on their background – due to their seniority. That’s why you need to have the right processes in place to ensure people can be confident about asking for these checks.”