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Is Your Screening Process for New Hires Thorough Enough?

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May 17 2021, Published 12:59 p.m. ET

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Hiring the right candidate for an open position on your team may not be the most straightforward task you’ll tackle as a business owner, but it’s for sure one of the most important. You must be thorough in all the right ways. Yes, carefully reviewing resumes and conducting detailed interviews are part of that, but it’s not the entire picture.

Even if you’re positive you’ve found the ideal candidate, you shouldn’t call that position filled until you’ve followed up with a series of checks and screenings. It’s the best way to protect your company, customers, and the team as wholly as they deserve. Here are some steps to keep in mind.

Follow up on all references

Asking for references is standard practice when considering someone for a job position. In many cases, the job candidate will know this and take the initiative to provide references on their own. Don’t hesitate to ask for some if they aren’t provided for you, though. At least some of the names provided should be former employers, colleagues, clients, or mentors.

Follow up by contacting every single one of them. Have some questions prepared, but don’t be afraid to ask others if you have them. It’s also wise to call entities like former employers or educational institutions to confirm employment dates and other details.

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Run a criminal background check

The benefits of performing a criminal background check as part of your standard hiring routine are numerous. To begin with, such checks help you manage the risk of lawsuits or claims related to negligent hiring and are especially important in specific industries. (Healthcare, hospitality, delivery, and real estate are prime examples.)

Criminal background checks also let you know precisely what you’re getting into by hiring a specific person. If someone has a history of violence, fraud, or theft, you’ll learn about it beforehand. And if they’ve only committed minor offenses that shouldn’t disqualify them from consideration, you’ll know that, too.

Verify their educational background

Confirming someone’s educational claims before you hire is critical if you’re serious about protecting your company from liability. You need to be sure the person is adequately certified and has completed all required training. You also need to identify any discrepancies between what you’ve been told and what’s actually true.

Adding a quick education check to your pre-employment screening routine can tell you everything you need to know. Easily confirm attendance dates, enrollment status, graduation date, and detailed information about the type of degree obtained so you can hire with confidence.

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Take a look at their credit history

A quick credit check can yield a lot of information about a potential hire, especially if you’re hiring an accountant, a finance clerk, a bank manager, or anyone whose role might include handling cash. If someone is responsible and astute when it comes to managing their finances, the chances are pretty good that you can trust them to handle yours, as well.

Someone’s credit history can also help you determine whether a would-be hire is overextended financially and could come with a higher risk of committing fraud or theft at some point down the line. You gain valuable insight into how the person approaches commitments and responsibilities of all kinds, as well.

Explore other records that could be helpful

Depending on what type of position you’re looking to fill, you might also want to consider adding a few additional checks to your checklist. For example, you can find out whether someone has any history as a sex offender – a must for anyone who will be working with children, volunteering, or working in the medical field in any capacity.

If the person you hire will need to drive or otherwise deal with vehicles, you’ll also want to take a look at the candidate’s driving record. A check will notify you of any accidents, tickets, traffic offenses, suspensions, or convictions the person may have in their past.

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In conclusion, while it’s great to have a good gut feeling about someone you’re thinking of hiring, you never want to forgo a proper background investigation. It only takes a few minutes, but it could save you and your company a fortune in problems down the line.

[Editor’s note: This post is produced by one of our trusted partners.]

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