In 1935, Erwin Schrödinger stated that a cat, placed in a sealed box with a jar of poison, is thought to be both alive and dead. Only once the box is opened does the scientist know whether they have a healthy living cat or a lifeless corpse. 

Imagine each recruit to a firm carries with them a sealed box. Inside the box is not a cat, but a personality, including honesty, motivations and integrity. Only once the employee is hired and the firm has paid the significant search, legal and hiring costs is the box opened and the true state of the personality confirmed. Until the costs have been covered, it is a pure gamble as to what is inside the all-important box; even numerous interviews and criminal record checks cannot change this.  

This has long been the case in recruitment and due diligence. Now, however, open source investigative methods can scrutinise the contents of the previously unreadable box and prevent firms risking the honesty and integrity of their business with each new hire. 

Through one of our recent investigations we uncovered a potential recruit operating online under an alias to post racist, homophobic and sexist content across numerous platforms. However, because the individual had no criminal past or financial trouble, traditional due-diligence approved them as an acceptable employee. Having someone with such explicit views working in a modern work environment would have created untold damage both internally and to the company’s reputation externally. 

If you interviewed this person and talked amicably about their past and their ideas for the future you almost certainly would have branded them an upstanding ambassador for the company. The reality is, posting hateful commentary is the antithesis of integrity. Doing so under a false name is the antithesis of honesty. 

Conducting open source investigations removes uncertainty in the hiring process; it protects a firm’s reputation and leaves no chance of unintentionally failing to comply with regulations. If Erwin Schrodinger was able to drill a hole in his proverbial cat’s box, he could have discovered the animal’s true state long before he went to the expense of removing the lid to find a dead feline.