By now it should be pretty safe to say that we all know you never ask an applicant any questions about age, race, ethnicity, gender, religion, disabilities or even if they are expecting a new bundle of joy. The greatest challenge in an interview is finding ways to discover not only where an applicant has been and what they have done but, most importantly, who they are. Most hiring disaster stories ever told involve people that totally gelled in their interview. There was no way they could have had an unsavory past, right? Unless you have proven successful as a human lie detector, you definitely do not want to rely on gut instincts alone when feeling out a potential new hire. Here are the top three things you never want to neglect checking before you extend an offer of employment.
The most common thing hiring professionals do after selecting an applicant is to run a criminal background check. Easy, right? Well, yes, it can be. Consider this though, not all cities, counties, and states report to the same background check database systems. In many cases a Court Runner is still needed to access physical archives in person. The result is that many of the background checks provided by screening companies contain limited, or even outdated, information. As a basic rule of thumb, you should always make sure that your background check report contains county search results in addition to the National Criminal Report or other database query.
Before you start searching for your next employee, it would be a good idea to reevaluate your employment application to make sure you’re including things like
- Applicant’s addresses of record for the last seven years.
- Counties where the applicant has resided in the last ten years.
- All first and last names used by the applicant.
A real-estate agent knows how to brand a rundown money pit as a quaint single-family-home with historic charm and unlimited possibilities. It’s also what we do with our resumé when we’re first getting started in the working world. Skill, “advanced clerical and administrative management experience”. Translation, “I sat in a closet alphabetizing files for eight hours a day.” There are some sections on a CV though that are more than faux pas to fudge. Education is one of them. There are a lot of different reasons to make education a qualifier for an open position at your company. Maybe you need someone with specific training. Maybe you just want to know that you are hiring someone who has demonstrated responsibility and the ability to follow through. In any scenario, it is always a good idea to verify that your applicant really has all of the credentials they are claiming.
Sure, the cardinal rule here is that you can only ask if the person you are speaking with would re-hire the applicant in question. But, there is still something to be said for someone who is able to provide an actual professional reference who would be willing to say, “yes”, to that question. This is your opportunity to ask some good questions about how the applicant and the reference know each other. What are some of the tasks they would have performed together? What would their roles have been when performing those tasks?
You might be surprised how easy it is to determine if the person you are speaking with was your applicant’s former manager or their most eloquent confidante from the cubicle club. The point is, you have to actually make the calls and seize the opportunity to see what kind of relationships your potential new employee has left in their wake.
When it is time to bring someone new to the team, there is a lot on the line. No one wants to spend months on the process, extend an offer, get the person through training, only to find out that the fake it didn’t make it. Simply stated, “ain’t nobody got time for that!” – Sweet Brown.