Although pre-employment screening is in no way foolproof since people have learned very well how to hide their feelings, it is still an important part of the hiring process. Here are four tips to ensure a successful screening of potential candidates so that you can hopefully hire the right person for the job:
1. Verbally Check the Candidate's References.
People lie. It's the sad truth. Therefore, the written references that an applicant provides you could have been written by their best friend or a family member. It is important that you don't take written references by the applicant's word and you actually take the time to verbally call the reference and verify the information in the letter. You may want to consider asking open-ended questions so that the person you are speaking to has to elaborate. You want to make sure that you are getting the employee that the candidate has described themselves to be.
2. Check Out the Candidate's Online Presence.
Almost everyone has some sort of an online footprint, whether it is a personal blog or a social media page like Facebook. Do a quick online search of the candidate's name. You may need to add their city and state. Although the internet creates a very public environment, many people still don't give much thought to their privacy settings or what they say online. It isn't uncommon for employees to talk badly of their employers, which is not something that you would likely want to deal with.
3. Check the Candidate's Level of Commitment.
If the person applying for a position within your company is currently employed, you need to consider counter offers. You may want to ask them what their reaction would be if their current employer tried to get them to stay, such as with a huge bonus or pay raise. The candidate's answer will inform you of whether they are a dedicated employee or if money is their primary concern. If it seems as if they would be tempted by money, you may be able to save yourself from not having an employee in the next month or two.
4. Check the Candidate's Reactions to Your Contract.
All organizations have some form of employment contract that potential employees must sign before being considered a company employee. An interview is a good time to discuss the contract terms with the candidate and see their reaction to the terms. This will help you iron out problems early on, if you notice a possible sticking point in the contract.
Even with the aforementioned tips, it is important that you don't overlook the importance of a solid background check and employment screening from a professional company. There may be certain things that you didn't catch on your own that an expert employment screening company can.