Signature HR urges the public sector to adopt modern recruitment practices

The dismissal of Met Police Officer PC Harwood for gross misconduct over his actions in pushing Ian Tomlinson at the G20 protests seems to be on the face of it a straight forward disciplinary case.

It’s not until you study the finer details of PC Harwood’s previous conduct that the need to have robust candidate screening processes is brought into sharp focus.

It emerged at the disciplinary hearing that there had been numerous complaints about PC Harwood’s behaviour and in 2001 he had been allowed to retire on medical grounds despite unresolved disciplinary issues. Then in 2004 he was allowed to re-join the Met Police. It seems that there were failings in the Met’s candidate screening process, consequently they have found themselves having to deal with such a serious disciplinary issue.

Recruitment is expensive and a major investment upon which a company’s future success is dependant. No decision can be completely risk free but ensuring that each candidate’s background and suitability is forensically examined is vital to business success. The recruitment decision should be seen in the same way as any investment decision a company makes.

Rebecca Dunn, Director of Signature HR Ltd said, “Employee behaviour can be a difficult area for public sector bodies; by their very nature they are under the close media scrutiny. The public sector needs to pay more attention to prevention, using robust screening practices, rather than picking up the pieces after a problem has occurred.

About Signature HR

Signature HR Ltd provides a full range of HR services, specialising in providing their comprehensive candidate screening process clients across all industry sectors. They understand the importance and impact of hiring talent and are experts in supporting organisations in de-risking the decision making process, for further information on this or any of our services please contact us at or call us on 02476 997783.

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