“I don’t believe you.”
While we probably don’t need to come right out and say that to job candidates’ faces, it’s important to understand that everything they are telling you may not be the whole truth.
Applicants stretch the truth, or outright fabricate information, for a variety of reasons. It may be innocuous reasons like looking a little smarter, or a bit more experienced, to get the job or snag slightly better pay. Or, their mis-truths may be hiding something in their pasts that are more worrisome, such as jail time.
It’s essential for businesses to make smart hiring decisions, and doing this requires the full picture of the candidate and his or her education, experience, and behavior.
How, you ask? As President Ronald Reagan once said, “Trust, but verify”.
Check Claims of Employment
Job candidates who are experienced with a strong work history are low risk options to add to your workforce. If they’re telling the truth. Check out dates of employment, positions held, and key responsibilities of their job before bringing them onboard. A thorough look at their past history offers insight into whether or not they are going to be a productive, valuable member of your team who can perform as expected.
If you’re hiring for a position who needs to possess specific training to do the job, don’t take the candidate’s word for it. After all, faking a degree is as easy as a web search. Dig into where they went to school, dates they attended, and the degree or certificate they obtained. Use a third-party background screening company to check their story instead of calling the contact information they applicant provides (which may be a fraudulent website instead of an actual school).
Review Social Media
When used compliantly, a social media search can offer helpful information on potential job candidates. For example, negative attitudes about racism, sexism, and religion would be factors for not wanting them on your payroll. These are also opinions that may not be uncovered on the job application or during the interview. Note: Be sure to use a third-party background screening company to run these checks for you. Otherwise you can get into issues with seeing protected information.
Cast A Net to Uncover Criminal Convictions
Even if you are ordering County Criminal Records Searches in the areas the applicant has lived, worked, and studied over the past seven years (a smart best practice) you could miss important pieces of their background. Add a National Criminal Database Search to your background checks for extra security. This search runs a social search, which returns every address associated with that social security number. This can identify geographical areas the candidate didn’t want you to search. In addition, this search includes a Sex Offender’s Search from all fifty states, and millions of other pieces of data. While it’s not a complete search of the entire country (as some cities and states do not contribute their information to databases) it’s a smart way to cast a “net” over the country as an added security measure.
Unfortunately, smart HR pros and hiring managers cannot take a person’s resume, application, and interview answers as the whole truth. Measure that information along with the information you find in their background check to make a smart, informed hiring decision that benefits your workforce and your company.