Ensuring staff is up to par

Mexico City’s ‘De Bosques’ luxury residential golf club uses Layered Voice Analysis in high impact crime prevention initiative

Designed by Humberto Artigas and golf legend Jack W. Nicklaus, ‘Club De Golf Bosques’ is a luxurious gated community in Mexico City, where upscale residential buildings nestle amidst the well-kept golf course.

The idyllic and safe surroundings are enjoyed by both guests and residents – who choose to reside at the “Bosques” for its atmosphere and facilities, but arguably even more so for its top-notch security standards.

Sustaining such an environment is a multifaceted challenge, but with the particular appeal that a place like the ‘Club De Golf Bosques’ holds for criminals, perhaps the most challenging is guaranteeing the residents’ personal safety and the safety of their property.

This becomes a complex undertaking considering the large staff and outsourced service- providers manning the various positions – from management, through landscapers, caddies, maintenance staff and security teams.

Tasked with keeping its VIP residents safe, management at the ‘Club De Golf Bosques’ has been dealing with staffing challenges and the potential ramifications of hiring the wrong people. One particular concern revolved around preventing the infiltration of criminals into the community in the guise of legitimate workers, or even personal assistants and caddies privately hired by residents.

Management looked for contemporary technologies to assist in their supervision and vetting processes, with significant emphasis on preventing high-impact crime.

The challenge

No businesses, let alone communities, are completely immune to criminal activity.

Criminal activity can be “straight forward” cases of theft perpetrated by individuals from the outside, but it can also involve individuals within the organization – employees with access and knowhow.

Such cases often cause significant damage, whether the criminal act is accomplished during  a single incident, such as an assisted burglary – or over longer periods of time, where perpetrators use their access for acts of coordinated kidnapping for ransom, embezzlement or ongoing small-scale larceny which often goes undetected until significant damage has already been done.

Employees with violent tendencies, predatory sexual behavior and drug abuse are another major concern for any community or place of business seeking to maintain a safe environment for both its employees and clientele.

But naturally, employees that take part in criminal and other harmful activities, will rarely make that fact known to their employers.

The management at ‘Club De Golf Bosques’ was determined to find a way to root out criminal elements with the goal of keeping their establishment, its residents and visitors safe.

The challenge was to find an efficient, flexible and cost-effective solution that will quickly detect red-flags related to a variety of criminal activities.

The Tools

The ‘Club De Golf Bosques’ hired the services of Voz Análisis, a Nemesysco partner headquartered in Mexico.

Voz Análisis honed their LVA expertise in over a decade of activity, focusing on LVA professional investigation tools used in crime-fighting, as well as employee vetting tools – geared towards enhancing HR recruitment processes, employee compliance and employee wellbeing. These areas of expertise made Voz Análisis the perfect service provider to help ‘Club De Golf Bosques’ carry out their crime prevention initiative.

LVA was chosen for its ability to detect underlying risk indicators and unfiltered emotional reactions in the human voice. Using the technology, management would have the ability to zero-in on red-flag topics and guide their investigation into potential criminal acts and related undesirable behaviors within their staff.

The fact that LVA can detect a person’s genuine emotions, that at times can be well- concealed behind their choice of words and intonation was a major factor in the decision to use the technology, as well as the ability to assess employees via soft, non-accusatory interview process that only takes a few minutes to complete.

Another deciding factor was the ability to use the system on-premises and on-demand and get immediate reports.

The method

Voz Análisis’s experts worked with the management on the creation of personality and risk assessment questionnaires tailored to their specific needs in targeting potential high-risk issues.

The Spanish-language questionnaires were designed to detect indications of involvement in diverse undesirable activities, namely: affiliation and/or acquaintances with organized crime, involvement in theft and other felonies, bribery, drug and alcohol abuse in the workplace, and intentional leaking of sensitive information.

The questionnaire also addressed the topic of potential collusion to kidnap high-profile residents – a major concern for those in charge of security at ‘Club De Golf Bosques’.

A work plan was put together where employees would be periodically interviewed and analyzed using a desktop application for employee assessment featuring the ability to detect high-risk statements and red-flags.

It was decided that interviews would be conducted in two ways:

1.Automated questionnaires – Interviewees would record their replies to a series of questions displayed within the app. This process typically takes between 10 to 15 minutes and results in a comprehensive analysis that includes a topical risk report.

2.Face to face interviews – Using the real-time mode of LVA-i, an interviewer would ask employees a series of questions and observe the emotion and risk indications during the interview. This open interview mode would allow the interviewer to immediately drill down into topics where high risk levels are indicated.

The interviews, most of which were carried out automatically, covered a little under 500 employees across the different departments, from management, through office staff, security guards, maintenance workers, drivers, landscapers, waiters, golf caddies, and other support staff – including many workers independently hired by the residents.

Over 800 interviews were conducted between 2017 and 2020.

A great deal of those were run on-demand, complete with a daily report of findings, highlights and recommendations from Voz Análisis.

The outcome

Thanks to the commitment of the management, the LVA-i crime prevention project was adopted quickly and effectively, yielding results right away.

25 employees were flagged as potentially involved in criminal acts of varying severities. Petty theft was the most common. Breach of confidentiality and disclosure of information to criminals was a close second.

Suspected employees were requested to undergo a second interview to ensure that the results were conclusive enough to merit further investigation by the security experts.

The majority of the suspected cases ended up in confirmation and subsequent expulsion of these employees.

One such case was that of a golf caddie who was privately hired by one of the residents. The system detected high-probability of involvement with severe criminal acts such as robbery, bribery, criminal ties and drug abuse. Upon confirmation of suspicions this employee was ejected, much to the relief of his former employer.

Undesirable tendencies categorized as medium risk were detected in 30% of the employees. These stats enabled managers of the different departments to focus their staff training and supervision to discourage unwanted behaviors.

It is worth noting that the interviews accomplished more than spotting the proverbial “wolves in sheep’s clothing” – they also helped the ‘Club De Golf Bosques’ and its residents reaffirm confidence in trusted, steadfast employees – which in turn contributed to a better sense of security.

To illustrate – Many employees were found to be acquainted with criminals – but upon examination their actual threat potential was found to be low. None of these cases resulted in termination.

The ‘Club De Golf Bosques’ has appointed an in-house LVA-i interviewer in charge of running automated interviews commissioned by management and at times by the residents themselves.

With LVA-i, the ‘Club De Golf Bosques’ can ensure that their residents, guests and facilities are better-protected, and that their large staff is reliable, and can be trusted with caring for this exclusive residential property.

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