Background Checks

Every employer or manager has had the experience at least once. The candidate that looked like the answer to your prayers on paper turns out to be your worst nightmare!

It’s a tricky situation to say the least, but there are a few tips you can use to limit your risk of hiring bad candidates, and ensure that you have options if you do.

Define What You Want

A surprisingly high proportion of bad hires can probably be attributed to employers who aren’t completely clear on what they are looking for themselves. Take the time before you advertise to decide what you really need, and what your ideal candidate will bring to the table. The more you can narrow down your focus, the easier it is to weed out unsuitable candidates early on.

Understand That Candidates Lie

The incidence of resume fraud is surprisingly high, with nearly 60% of employers reporting that they caught candidates lying on their resumes, according to a recent study. Many of those lies are simple exaggerations of skills or abilities, but there are many cases where candidates have even faked credentials. If you’re in doubt, do your homework!

Be Clear About Deal Breakers

There are certain traits and activities that you cannot hold against candidates, before or after they are hired. However, while things like marital status or children cannot be a factor in hiring, there are certain cases where you can include non-traditional “deal breakers” in your contracts. These may include provisions relating to future criminal offences, or conduct that does not reflect well on your company. For instance, if an employee of a religious organization was caught doing something immoral by the media, you may be able to take action.

Never Assume Probation Periods Are Automatic

Many employers mistakenly assume that they are automatically covered by probation periods, however, depending on how your contracts are worded, this may not be the case. If you do have a probation period for reviewing candidate performance, make sure that you stipulate what it is and what responsibilities and rights both parties have in your employment contracts. It’s a good idea to have an HR or legal professional review your contracts too, as there are laws and regulations that may govern what you can and cannot do.

Spend More Time and Effort on Screening

A bad hire can cost your company tens of thousands of dollars, and can take months to recover from, so it’s always better to prevent this situation rather than trying to remedy it.

Make sure that you have a clear and detailed vetting process for prospective employees, and apply it to every hire. Check references carefully, verify educational credentials and claims about past experience, and make sure that you conduct any criminal and credit history checks before you make any hires.

Finally, remember that even a letter of intent to hire can put you in the proverbial hot seat, so avoid making any offers at all until you’re sure of all the facts.

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