As a business owner or manager, you have high expectations of your employees. After all, you depend on these people for the success of your operation. Hiring can be time-consuming, and sometimes it is tempting to cut corners by hiring a candidate based on a gut feeling. That may sound like the beginning of an inspiring story, but in the real world, this kind of hiring practice can lead to trouble. Here are five mistakes to avoid when you are hiring new employees.
Forgetting to Run a Background Check
Candidates for a job always want to present the best version of themselves. This may mean that they neglect to tell you the whole story of their past. While a criminal background may not necessarily be disqualifying, it still needs to be known. You may not want to hire someone convicted of embezzlement as your CFO. If your business involves working with children, you need to know if there are any legal restrictions an employee brings to the job. By running a background check, you are preventing problems in the future. BackgroundChecks.com talks about the many different kinds of background checks available depending on your circumstances. For example, a quick background check will help give you a snapshot of the person, but won’t be very in depth. A basic background check will take a little longer, but will give some more information. And a standard background check will take the longest, but will give a comprehensive look at someone’s background. And always remember to get the appropriate permission from the candidate, as required by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).
Neglecting Social Media
Checking out a candidate on social media has become an important step in hiring. People often present their true selves on social platforms. While you may not be interested in knowing what the candidate had for dinner last week, you should be aware if a candidate is posting troubling material such as posts promoting hate groups. Forrest Firm talks about things to be careful of when using social media to check out candidates. This needs to be done equally if it’s going to be done at all. The Fair Credit Reporting Act means that if you pull one candidate’s credit report, you should do it for everyone. The same principle applies here. Freedom of speech is important, but your job is to protect the reputation of your business. Keep in mind also to never ask for access or passwords to a candidate’s social media, and be aware that information you come across should not be used to discriminate against a protected class (like race, religion, or national origin, among many others).
Failing to Understand a Candidate’s Personality
Sometimes a candidate has all the right skills and experience but simply does not fit into the culture of your workplace. The candidate needs to be able to work cooperatively with the people around him or her. A pre-employment assessment gives you the chance to learn about how the candidate’s mind works. Berke talks about how a robust and scalable strategy for assessing personality and capability can help you screen faster, reduce turnover, increase productivity, and alert you to red flags.
Personality tests are of particular importance when you’re hiring someone in a customer service position. In the age of social media sharing and online reviews, customer experiences can have a tremendous impact on a company’s reputation and revenue. In fact, Podium explains that 97 percent of consumers use reviews to make purchasing decisions. It would be a mistake to put people in this position who lack the soft skills to handle customer complaints and concerns in a professional manner. Even though it may take time at the beginning, pre-employment testing is strongly recommended for all potential employees.
Neglecting to Follow Up on References
It is important to contact references for several reasons. For one thing, you need to know whether the people named actually exist. NPA Worldwide talks about this; look up the references on social media sites and places like Linkedin and Glassdoor. Make sure these individuals really work at the places they are said to work and that the phone numbers are correct. Candidates may be hoping that you will not take the time to check. If reference contact information is incorrect on a resume, it is a major red flag. Contacting references also lets you talk to someone who has seen the candidate at work. That person can tell you more about the candidate’s personality, character, and professionalism.
Not Requiring a Skills Test
Listing a skill on a resume does not mean a candidate is necessarily qualified. In these days of online education, candidates may think that their skills are stronger than they actually are. They may have only tested their skills on an online platform and never tried them in the real world. A skills test will help make sure that a candidate has the abilities that your business needs. There are many online vendors that provide accurate and valid skill tests, or you can design a basic test with the help of your HR support.
By taking the time to thoroughly explore a candidate’s background and abilities, you are building up your business. Great employees will improve the workplace and bring your business success and growth. With a little investment of extra time and resources, you can make sure the best candidate gets the job.
If you need help building the business of your dreams, talk to Maventri! We offer many services, including services, human resources consulting, benefits administration, recruiting support, and more.