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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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!
Employers need to be wary of resume fraud as it can damage a company’s integrity and inhibit productivity. It’s a sub-section of negligent hiring, and resume fraud presents itself when an applicant lies about information on his or her resume. This information most commonly pertains to dates of employment, past accomplishments and skills, and enhancing job titles and responsibilities. There are many areas where resume fraud manifests itself which makes it all the more necessary to be cautious and to protect yourself as an employer.
Degree fabrication and educational exaggeration often appear in cases of resume fraud. Online diploma mills, whereby a person is able to purchase an academic degree/diploma from an organization without recognition by official educational accrediting bodies, are specifically increasing cases of resume fraud. They are fake diplomas, pure and simple.
In addition, many “diploma mills” provide toll-free phone numbers for their “students” to give prospective employers. This toll-free number will provide the prospective employer with grade, attendance, and sometimes even award information pertaining to the “student” as a ploy to legitimize the fictitious school.
Checking to see if the school has a website is an effective way of determining whether the degree came from an accredited institution or a deviant diploma mill. Alternatively, the U.S. Department of Education lists accredited universities within the country. When checking up on this, make sure there is a normal progression of degree completion in regards to the applicant. For example, it is probably worth investing an applicant’s claim to have received a doctorate degree immediately after receiving an undergraduate degree since a master’s degree usually falls in between the two former categories.
As mentioned in the introduction, the act of enhancing job titles and responsibilities by applicants is very common within resume fraud. It usually occurs because the applicant doesn’t think that the prospective employer will bother to complete adequate reference checks. Since job responsibility lists can be very extensive, an applicant often thinks that slipping in a discreet job responsibility will go undetected even if the employer makes the reference call. Make sure to not only perform the reference checks but to also verify all claimed job responsibilities or accomplishments.
Hopefully this brief summary of resume fraud is of assistance to you and your hiring process. If you would like any further information regarding employment checks, get in touch – we’ll be happy to help.
And remember – a thorough hiring process done properly the first time will minimize future hiring complications, while contributing to an ethical and productive workplace.
So perhaps you’re applying for a job and are about to have a background check performed? Or maybe you’re an employer who has realized the important role background checks can play in your company? Either way, here is a simple and friendly article that will explain to you the different types of background checks that are commonly used in employment verification.
These are not always performed as part of employment verification, and are known as a type of background check saved for specific job roles – such as those in finance, or government positions. Credit checks are a part of staff testing that will recognize any individuals with a poor credit record – to the extent that it may affect their work performance.
Motor Vehicle Checks
Motor vehicle record checks are a type of background check obviously saved for those who work in the transportation or driving industry. It will be part of employment verification for any individual who may have driving responsibilities as part of their employment - this includes truckers, bus drivers and even cab drivers. It will ensure that the individual’s driving record is clean and they will be safe and responsible while in charge of an motor vehicle.
A type of background check that you can expect in almost all job application processes is that of an education verification check. Information found on resumes is often embellished and sometimes even purely fictitious. This type of background check will ensure that the applicant is being honest in their application – and will therefore be trustworthy as an employee.
As with education verification, a reference check will ensure that an applicant is being honest with their references, and will also be a valuable employee. Such a check means you can talk to those that have worked with, and above, this applicant before, and will verify their work ethic, character and value.
Drug screening is a type of background check that should not be reserved for individuals pre-employment, but ought to also be considered for current employees too. It is a cost-effective and valuable way of discerning whether any of your employees or job applicants are involved in drug use, which could affect their work abilities.
Social Security Number Tracing
A type of background check that some employers will use, and that Mind Your Business, Inc. offers, is determining as to whether the social security number offered by the applicant is legitimate and being used by the proper person. It helps avoid identity fraud and aid in verifying previous addresses too.
The most obvious check that could be performed is one of your criminal background. Employers will do this to ensure that the applicants they are considering employing are trustworthy, honest and law abiding citizens.
So those are the main types of background checks that employers ought to be performing and that applicants ought to expect during the pre-employment process. If you have any further questions about this post, or background checks as a whole, feel free to leave a comment at the bottom of this article, or get in contact with MYB.
A reference check is a significant part of the pre-employment screening process, and serves the primary purpose of verifying the details you have provided to an employer in a job application. These details are usually on your resume, but you may also have been required to list them on an application form.
The secondary purpose for a reference check is for a prospective employer to check on your job performance – ensuring that you performed the duties you claim and that you performed them to a high level. Employers will likely want to discuss the claims you have made with you in an interview and, should they be satisfied, then call upon the references you have provided them to verify everything you have said.
Usually you will be required to provide three references to enable a company to perform a reference check – including both personal and professional references. This allows them to gain an understanding of your prior job performance from three different perspectives as well as a better awareness of your personality and attitude. For this reason it is important that you provide a potential employer with valid references who will be able to verify you as an individual as well as you as an employee.
When it comes to reference checks, the majority of companies will no longer provide other employers with much more information than dates of employment and job responsibilities that were performed, which is why it is important that the personal reference(s) you have listed have a solid knowledge of you as an individual. If none of the references can verify more than employment details, the potential employer will not gain any beneficial knowledge on what they can expect from you in regards to your personality, work ethic or attitude around the workplace.
Final considerations for a reference check would be to make sure you inform your references that you are going to be using them as such. Ensure that it doesn’t come as a surprise to them when they receive the phone call from the prospective employer, and be sure to thank them for helping you in your job search.
Follow these simple guidelines and you’ll be well on the way to getting your dream job – good luck!