Posted in pre-employment background checks, pre-employment screening, reference check
Your company is hiring. You’re excited about the new talent that could bring your business continued success. You want to find the best possible employee, the one that will work great with the rest of your team, fit in to the corporate culture, and be a great asset to the company.
But before you hire that first qualified candidate, you’ll want to do some research. One of the best ways to get an idea of your applicant’s work ethic, skills and personality is to conduct reference checks. Ideally, you should request at least two professional references (from former employers, mentors, co-workers, etc.) and two personal references (from friends, teachers, or other individuals that are not related to the applicant).
Then, once you’ve got the names and phone numbers (or e-mail addresses), you want to get in touch with them! This is for a few different reasons.
1) You want to ensure the applicant was honest.
Resume fraud is a big problem, and it happens on all levels — from entry level to upper management. By contacting applicants’ references, you can ensure they did not embellish past job duties or fabricate educational experience.
2) You want to ensure they have the right skills.
It’s happened before: a new employee begins work, and within a few days the employer becomes painfully aware that the employee’s skill set does not match the job description, whether through resume falsehoods or simple miscommunication. When you contact former employers or co-workers, you can get specific details about past performance from someone who is not trying to put their best face forward.
3) You want to ensure their values align with those of the company or department.
Here’s where personal references are really important. You want to hire someone that will work hard and do their best for you. It can put your mind at ease to know that your applicant has a reputation for always being five minutes early, or is a positive, upbeat team player. Personal references allow you to get past the nitty-gritty of the job description and find out how that person will fit within your organization.
Once you have the contact information for those references, it’s time to start asking questions! To learn more about what kinds of questions you should ask during a reference check, contact Mind Your Business.
Posted in background checking, employers check references, pre-employment background checks, reference check, social media background checks
It’s no surprise when employers and social media mix during the hiring process, as employers often want to get an accurate idea of a prospective employee beyond the glossy resume and carefully culled reference list.
LinkedIn provides a service, “Reference Search,” to help those employers that are premium account holders, by providing lists of individuals that may have worked with the prospective employee.
Reference Search, in theory, sounds like a good idea. According to LinkedIn, Reference Search “locates people in your network who can provide reliable feedback about a job candidate or business prospect.” The site provides this information by populating a list of individuals that have worked at the same company during the same time period as the candidate in question.
However, four individuals are suing the professional social network, claiming they were passed over on jobs due to the references that LinkedIn suggested, enabling prospective employers to make hiring decisions without ensuring the information the social network provided was correct. Because the listed individuals do not have to be “connections” of the candidate, there is no guarantee that the references LinkedIn culls have any relationship whatsoever to the prospect.
In Sweet vs. LinkedIn, those four individuals are claiming that LinkedIn has violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act with its Reference Search tool. Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, employers must get permission to run background checks, and must verify with the candidate that any information provided in a consumer report that may be used against them is accurate. The FCRA was written at a time in which social media did not exist, and so employers and social media were not a consideration.
In an interview last week, Federal Trade Commission member Julie Brill, who is not involved in the lawsuit, said, “We have made clear that the FCRA applies to services offered over the Internet and mobile apps.”
LinkedIn doesn’t see this combination of employers and social media as a problem, though, as all information that a company or recruiter could use in the hiring process is available through user-provided content, which users consent to let the social network “use … distribute, publish and process” through its user agreement. LinkedIn spokesman Joseph Roualdes said the professional network intends to fight the lawsuit, as it believes its charges are baseless.
photo credit: TheSeafarer via photopin cc
Posted in background check, background investigations, education checks, reference check, student background checks
It is becoming more and more common for higher education programs and schools to conduct background checks on its applicants. However, unlike schools that want to confirm students’ criminal histories, these business school programs are more interested in whether its applicants are being honest on their applications.
Depending on the school or MBA program, employment and education verification may be required. Some schools require every student to undergo screening, while others select students at random for verification. Still others only choose to screen those who have discrepancies in their applications. The main thing the schools seem to be looking for is honesty within the application, and so they often seek to confirm the candidates’ previous employment histories and previous education (including grades and graduation status), as well as criminal history.
In addition, with a thorough background investigation, schools may choose to verify applicants’ references, extracurricular activities, and achievements. It has already become standard practice for many schools to put application essays through anti-plagiarism software to ensure that potential students are not seeking to cheat the school, or themselves.
Several MBA programs — including those at Stanford, New York University, University of Pennsylvania and Columbia — have already instituted background-checking policies. It is expected that more schools will follow their lead. Typically, screening processes happen during the admissions process, though it may take time to complete. Should the school determine that a student has lied in the application, it can still revoke a student’s admission after classes have begun.
However, if potential students are open and honest about the things on their applications, they are less likely to be screened out due to discrepancies on their documents. Provided candidates do not lie or exaggerate their education or work experience, omit details such as being convicted of a crime or fired from a previous job, or plagiarize entry essays, it’s unlikely that students should encounter any issues with the screening.
photo credit: PromoMadrid via photopin cc
Posted in background check process, reference check
Whether you’re leasing an apartment or renting out office space, your job is to fill the openings with tenants that will help you maintain your investment and avoid potential liabilities. If you suspect a potential renter will not pay on time or will cause excessive damage to the property, you have to do what’s in your best interest to protect your assets, and find another candidate. Here are some things to consider when looking for tenants for your property or complex.
Who are their previous employers and landlords?
When you’re looking for a renter, you want to put your property in the hands of someone you can trust. Contacting a candidate’s previous employers and landlords — not just the most recent one — can give you a good picture of the kind of person you would be renting to. Is that person reliable? Honest and trustworthy? Can they be trusted to make payments on time? (If contacting a previous employer, a good alternate question would be, “Can they be trusted to meet deadlines?” If yes, it indicates that the candidate takes other people’s time and money seriously.)
Unfortunately, just as with job applications, not every potential renter will be completely honest on the rental application. This is why you should not only rely on contacting the current landlord; if he or she is desperate to get the tenant off their property, they may be willing to lie just to get rid of their own liability.
How does their credit look?
You will have to get permission from a potential renter to look up a credit report, but this documentation can give you a good picture of the candidate’s payment history. It can tell you if they’ve fallen behind on payments in the past, if they have anything tied up in court cases, and if they’ve declared bankruptcy in recent years. None of these things are necessarily absolute deal-breakers, but you will want to keep them in mind when considering the application.
Do they have a criminal history?
You cannot discriminate against a candidate just because they have a criminal record; however, depending on where your facility, rental home or apartment complex is, you do need to be aware of it, especially if a candidate is a sex offender, or is on the sex offender registry. Sex offenders must not take up residence within certain areas near schools and other facilities where children may be present, even if the crime was not against a child.
Because these checks can be extensive — especially if a potential renter is coming from another state — it may be beneficial to work with a background screening service to ensure you have all the proper documentation to safely make a decision. For more information about what Mind Your Business can do for you, contact us today.
Posted in employer references, reference check
No government-wide requirements exist for the checking of references for job applicants as a part of the federal government’s hiring process, including those who apply for law enforcement positions in the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the U.S. Marshals Service, the Federal Bureau of Prisons and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, a report released last week says.
The Justice Department’s office of inspector general, in a 109-page report, says law enforcement personnel at the five federal agencies accounted for more than 60 percent of the department’s new hires in fiscal 2010 but Justice required reference checks only for attorney applicants.
Instead, according to the report, law enforcement components used methods other than reference checking to assess skill and aptitude of applicants for law enforcement positions, such as background investigations; performance assessments; polygraph examinations; logic, cognitive and behavior tests; panel interviews; medical examinations; and drug and fitness tests. “While these methods may demonstrate the applicant’s abilities and suitability for employment and eligibility for national security access, they do not replace a reference check, which provides valuable performance information directly from prior employers and others who have worked with the applicant,” the report says.
Why is a reference check important?
Performing reference checks make sure an applicant is who they say they are, and that they can perform the tasks they claim to be able to perform. Any other tests might show ability, but are unable to verify the integrity or honesty of their claims about past positions, education and successes. Such a screening process is an essential way of verifying the claims made in an application, and provides a potential employer with a much wider understanding of the applicant.
If you’d like to hear more information about reference checks, and how to integrate them into your hiring process, get in touch today.
Posted in employment checks, reference check
An infographic created by Resoomay explores the baffling costs of making a bad hire, and it’s certainly information we thought was worth highlighting. Check out a few of the startling statistics – no doubt you’ll be surprised:
- Between hiring costs; total compensation; cost of maintaining the employee; disruption costs; severance; and mistakes, failures, and missed business opportunities, an employer’s average cost of a second-level manager bad hire is $840,000
- Missed business opportunities from a bad hire can cost their employer in the region of half a million dollars
- The ROI of a bad hire can be as awful as -298%
- The average cost of a new employee (not including training costs) is $57,968
- In 2009, estimates show U.S. organizations spent $125.88 billion on employee learning and development
- For a small business with only 64 employees, the cost of turnover is just shy of $8,000
- 75% of demand for new employees is to simply replace workers that left a company
When the costs of a bad hire are this baffling, is it any wonder employers think twice before taking hiring chances?
Preventing a bad hire
So what are the steps to protecting your business from a bad hire? Well there are quite a few, but primarily it’s all about implementing thorough employment screening and background check programs to ensure the people they’re hiring are right for the position.
Three key steps we would suggest:
1. Run background checks
A background check on an applicant may pick up on some negative information about them, which could certainly save you from problems in the long term. This type of screening could include criminal checks, education verification or checking their previous employment history.
2. Check references
In this economy, many people are unemployed and desperate for work. One of the principle ways that applicants “spruce up” their resume is to provide false references. Make sure that their references are verifiable, and the people they list are trustworthy.
3. Perform a drug test
The cost of drugs in the workplace is severe, so to avoid potential damage it is always a good idea to drug test applicants. By doing this, you are ensuring that any new hires will be reliable and productive workers.
Want to learn more? Get in touch and we can discuss a screening program to suit you.
Posted in false resume information, reference check
We came across this great infographic from ShaanHaider.com highlighting the most popular lies applicants make in job interviews. Take a look – are there any more you would add?
Posted in background check, pre-employment background checks, reference check
Reference checks: an important part of any pre-employment screening process that many employers tend to ignore. If you’re hiring new employees, then it’s vital that you perform a reference check on them, to ensure that they will be productive and effective members of your team.
What is a reference check
Employers perform reference checks to ensure that the qualifications an applicant has claimed to have are genuine, that their employment history is honest, and that their work ethic and personal values are going to have a constructive impact on the company.
An employer will usually check previous employment information, as well as contacting personal references to ensure you have the right personality for the company.
Why is a reference check important
Performing reference checks makes sure an applicant is who they say they are, and that they can perform the tasks they claim to be able to perform. Such a screening process is an essential way of verifying the claims made in an application, and provides a potential employer with a much wider understanding of the applicant.
How to perform a reference check
While you could perform reference checks on your own by simply requesting reference contact information from the applicant, a better bet would be to hire a pre-employment screening service – who can perform reference checks as part of a wider background screen.
All in all, there is never a better time to get started than right now. Be sure that you improve your hiring methods by implementing proper reference checks and a pre-employment screening process.
Posted in drug testing, pre-employment background check, reference check
Negligent hiring is something that happens time and time again. If you were to make a hiring mistake, it could cost you in more than in just a financial sense and you could feel the effects for years to come.
“As people and professionals, we tend to spend more time researching which cellphone to buy or which software will help grow our business than assessing a much more important concept — human behavior and talent,” said Paul Eccher, co-founder and principal of talent management organization The Vaya Group. “However, people are a company’s greatest asset and by making sound recruitment decisions, executives can drive productivity and strengthen talent.”
With that in mind, here are five tips to avoid making hiring mistakes:
During the interview, you probably do more talking than listening. Listen to what the applicants have to say – their history, their likes, dislikes, attributes and personality. You will be spending a lot of time with this person, so ensure they are the right fit.
Criminal Background Checks
One of the key areas of an applicant’s history you need to examine is whether they have a criminal past. This can provide you with an important insight into how trustworthy they are and whether they will be able to contribute positively to your company.
You should perform reference checks in two ways – personal references and professional references. It’s easy to be lazy, claim to have to much work to do or try to trust your gut instinct. But, ultimately, a mistake here can cost you significantly down the line. So take the time to do it right.
It is important for any company to determine whether the information an applicant provides during the application process is genuine by instituting a solid employment verification process.
This means verifying their previous employment claims, such as positions, timeline, successes and so on. Applicants like to embellish their work history, so this is a key area in which to decipher which applicants are being honest and which are lying.
Drug testing in the workplace should be a priority for any employer. You might think it’s an unnecessary expense, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. The money you save by not performing tests could be minimal compared to what you spend in liable cases should something go wrong.
Overall – it’s impossible to ensure that you never make a hiring mistake, but by following these steps you can make sure that the possibility of one is small. If you have any further questions about hiring decisions, get in touch today.
Posted in education checks, employers check references, employment checks, reference check
Considering the job market is pretty tough at the moment and employment remains high, many people are tempted to falsify parts of their resume in the hope it will give them an extra edge. What may seem like a small “addition” or something to “spruce up” your resume, could be an act you come to regret when the lie gets found out.
For example, many people may glorify what their role was at their previous company. While it’s fine to emphasize higher level tasks and your successes, you need to remember to ensure that your claims are verifiable. Otherwise, whether it be at the interview or further down the line, you are likely to get found out.
To help you stay on the right track, here are five tips for resume writing – how to focus on highlighting your strengths while keeping it honest and valid:
1) Explain the benefits of your skills
Merely stating that you can do something will not catch the attention of the employer. If you manage to explain how it will benefit the company, then you will greatly improve your chances.
Discuss where you have shown these skills in past roles and the success you have achieved due to it. Remain honest though – there will be plenty of characteristics and skills you can highlight while still being truthful, there is no need to make false additions.
2) Optimize your resume for each job application
It’s a great idea to have a resume template, but you should be sure to change details depending on what the opportunity is. Different jobs require different skills and experience, so highlight the relevant information for each application.
3) Get someone else to review your resume
Other people’s perspectives help. By asking someone to take a look at your resume, they may be able to identify weak areas or highlight the aspects that you might get asked about by the potential employer. This will also prepare you for any interview questions.
4) Have a clear focus
Keep it relevant to the job you are applying for and maintain a focus of the character your resume is portraying. Make sure all the information works towards a unified image of you as a potential employee.
5) Don’t lie
A key tip is – as you may have already guessed – be honest. Considering that most employers will run background checks – such as verifying your education, contacting your references and researching your past experience – it’s important t keep it valid and truthful. Not only will lies probably get found out, but trust is an integral part of any employer-employee relationship – so it is important to start off on the right foot.
Keep these tips in mind when you’re applying for jobs and you’ll be setting yourself up with a good foundation for finding employment.
Finally, and most importantly, good luck!
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