Our client companies want to know if we’ve done due-diligence on our applicants. How do we go about checking references? Do we conduct criminal background checks, etc? In my opinion the best way to conduct a background check is to create a thorough timeline for a person. Fill in all of the gaps. Of course you need to verify those dates but the best way to really get to know a person is to get answers to the following questions:
Confirm their skills by getting answers to the following questions:
- Did he have the right education for his position?
- Did he have the right experience for his position?
- Did he demonstrate the skills necessary for his job?
- Did he deliver good value for the wage he was paid?
- Was he able to properly do the job for which he was hired?
If you know that their character, work ethic, and accountability are on-point, then chances are they will have the skills that their resume indicates. Use these questions:
- Did this person act in the companies best interest?
- Has he/she kept his commitments in the past?
- Did this person own his/her mistakes?
- Was he proud of his work?
- Would you trust him with the keys to your home?
And finally, if you expect your new-hire to advance in your company then you want to know whether or not he is worth investing in. Does he have leadership and management potential?
- Has he made wise choices?
- Did he inspire others?
- Has he been able to think outside of the box?
- Does he have a can-do, positive attitude?
- If he were in charge, would you be comfortable following?
I know a lot of people who will not hire someone who has done jail time. I personally think that a blanket policy to that effect is somewhat short-sighted. Think about it a lot of folks just haven’t been caught yet. Being in jail does not make a horrible person however, a poor response to too many of these questions likely does! If most of the people in your candidate’s past have good answers to these questions, then you likely have a good find and (assuming he has the proper skills set) you should hire him!!