Harry Potter and the Background Check

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If Albus Dumbledore, headmaster of the magical Hogwarts Academy, had but realized the value of a thorough background check for the professors he hired, he wouldn’t have had to encounter so many difficult situations throughout the series.

If for some reason you have slept through the past decade and missed one of the most popular literary and movie franchises in recent history, you may not be aware that Hogwarts was renowned as one of the most prestigious academies in the wizarding world. And, as the school’s head, kindly old Dumbledore was responsible for all business regarding the legendary school including selecting the top professors to teach the young witches and wizards.

Dumbledore’s interesting selection of professors certainly indicates that he must not have been aware of the value of conducting comprehensive background checks.

Take for example Professor Quirinus Quirrell.

Here’s a guy hired as a senior staff member who, as it turned out, was easily corruptible. This is the reason why he united with Lord Voldemort and obeyed his orders.

Moreover, after meeting Lord Voldemort, Quirrell allowed The Dark Lord’s face to stick to the back of his head and brought him back to Hogwarts. Quirrell covered this up by wearing a turban that he never took off throughout the year. If Dumbledore had conducted a proper check of Quirrell’s references and previous employers, he could have uncovered evidence of the turban-wearing tutor’s alliance with the dark side.

Heck, even enforcing a proper dress code for his staff – no turbans in class, for example – would have easily revealed the two-faced Quirrell’s sinister intent! Instead, Voldemort was able to control Quirrell for almost an entire year and, attempted to steal the Philosopher’s stone. Worse, he also attempted to kill young Harry himself!

Similarly, had Dumbledore administered a comprehensive background check of Gilderoy Lockhart, would he have been hired as the Professor of Defense against the Dark Arts?

Lockhart acquired fame as an author. He wrote several bestselling books which may have made his resume sparkle, but a thorough check of his education would reveal that he received several detentions when he was a student at Hogwarts. Lockhart’s obsession with gaining attention from the other students compelled him to purposefully cause trouble so he could gain notoriety. Consequently, the detentions he received for his misdemeanors would have been listed in his permanent school records.

Additionally, references Lockhart should have been compelled to furnish would have revealed that he was a selfish, manipulative, and narcissistic liar. He is known for using memory charms to modify people’s memories to his benefit; while he claimed to have used them to perform several heroic acts, in reality, he forced people to forget about work they did so he could take the credit.

Lockhart’s lack of integrity, selfishness, and mischievous ways are but a few negative characteristics that may have appeared as if out of thin air if he’d had a proper background check.

Dolores Umbridge is yet another Hogwarts professor whose employment could have been denied if Dumbledore had conducted a good background check.

Her resume may have been quite impressive; she started her political career at the age of 17 as an intern for the Ministry of Magic, and worked her way up to higher positions. However a thorough check on her work for the Ministry would have revealed several unpleasant facts about her, such as her prejudice and maltreatment of other co-workers.

Those acquaintances would have reported that Umbridge became Head of the Office thanks to tyrannical leadership and ruthless tactics.

Her resume showed that she was inappropriately discriminatory; she spearheaded the Anti-Werewolf Legislation which prevented people with lycanthropy (the unusually contagious disease that causes a person to transform into a beast), to get a full-time job. This made it almost impossible for werewolves to find work. And who needs high unemployment rates, especially in a mystical fantasy world?

With their strong sense of smell, werewolves would have been invaluable resources for investigations. They could have helped track down escaped criminals and missing people. Werewolves could have also served as guards due to their strength and intimidating appearance, making them great candidates for guarding the Forbidden Forest – what student in their right mind would want to face them upon entering the dangerous forest?

Unfortunately, werewolves were not granted such employment opportunities thanks to Ms. Umbridge and her short-sighted prejudices.

If a background check was mandatory, it is highly unlikely that Umbridge would have been granted the teaching position for the Defense against the Dark Arts, and if that were the case, then Hogwarts would have been spared from so much trouble that Umbridge would eventually cause.

Overall, had Dumbledore paid a bit more attention to conducting thorough background checks rather than just viewing his or her resume, all sorts of supernatural calamities and nefarious deeds could have been avoided. Administering background checks on a person’s criminal records, education, and previous employers can reveal a candidate’s true nature. Even for magic wand-wielding wizards!

Alas, I fear my revelations may have upset one or two of the aforementioned Hogwarts staff as I believe I’m being turned into a newt.

Written by Priyanka Darsi Vijaysankari and Angela Compania

References to Harry Potter characters, names and related indicia are copyright and registered marks of Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. is not a sponsor of this blog entry and is not affiliated with its content.  The views expressed within this blog are solely representative of HireRight, LLC.  Please contact HireRight, LLC at marketing@hireright.com with any questions associated with this posting.

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