Vacation and Sick Days
Interviews are often arranged during midweek within the normal 9-5 hours, sometimes at short notice. Requests for leave at short notice or “illness” where people return to work with no obvious adverse effects can be deemed suspicious particularly where the day involved is a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday.
Furtive Use of Cellphone or Photocopier in the Workplace
Incoming cell phone calls where the recipient retreats to a quiet area or behaves out of character in their responses could be a result of a job search enquiry. Recruitment processes typically require resumes and presentations to be printed so organizations need to be aware of copying or printing that is considered somewhat unusual.
Web Searches Targeting Competitors, Recruiters or the Career Sections of Local Employers
Job hunters impress CEOs with their detailed knowledge of the industry, competitors, trends and latest developments. In our experience much of this research and the application process takes place in the office on the computers owned by the current employer, often during core working hours.
Downloading or Printing Lists of Customers or Clients
One of our clients lost a salesperson that copied considerable amounts of sensitive data and subsequently secured a similar position with an organization supplying a different service to the same customer base. If there is confusion over the finer points of employment law in respect of information then make sure the contracts, offer letters and employee handbooks are updated as a matter of course.
Requesting an Additional Copy of the Original Employment Agreement
We know of a law firm where one of the fee-earners contacted the HR department purporting to need a copy to check on leave arrangements. Within a month of this request the individual had joined a competitor to set up an office for them in the same town, and it was likely the request was driven by a need to check on how the new offer compared.
Suddenly Obtaining References and Testimonials
A manufacturing business we used to work with experienced a situation where a senior manager was approaching customers and suppliers obtaining references for the work he had completed on their behalf in recent years. This was a new approach for this individual, and the President assumed it was part of a strategy to increased credibility for future business meetings until he resigned shortly after to work for a competitor.
Lack of Enthusiasm, Motivation or Engagement
Forward-thinking employers recognize that an important part of their business strategy is to employ happy workers with high levels of motivation. Sloppy customer service, complaints, errors and failure to go that extra mile may show that a particular employee is about to jump ship.