Background check. You better believe it. Reference check. A must. Sanity check. Good luck with that. As employers, there’s only so much you can do. An endless stream of tasks await - confirm wage or salary budgets, writing up the job description, assessing recruitment costs, team impact, best hiring tools to use, and last (but certainly not least) - making sure you DON’T HIRE a current guest star on America’s Most Wanted.
Sound too crazy to be true?
Think again. This is why background and reference checks were implemented in the first place. Imagine giving the green light to a candidate taking on a role working with children and innocently forgetting to conduct a thorough reference & background check. Well, handsome Johnny may have an awesome resume displaying his impressive credentials as a youth advocate, but somehow forgot to mention he had a couple of warrants out for his arrest. Oops. Now, that being said - those warrants could’ve just been issued based on old parking tickets that were never paid, but nonetheless that may change Johnny’s potential ‘availability’ for this role..don’t ya’ think?
- Credit history (has he bought a big screen tv for $10K and pays the $1 minimum monthly lol?)
- Past employment records (has Johnny ever gone postal at his last job?)
- Professional licenses
- Criminal records (besides that minor shoplifting incident, does Johnny enjoy embezzling company funds much?)
- Driving records (how might he explain those 10 DUI’s lol?)
So, what about a reference check? Here are 6 questions you should ask..
- How would you describe the candidate’s reliability and dependability?
- What are the candidate’s strengths and weaknesses?
- What was one of the candidate’s most memorable accomplishments while working with you?
- What type of work environment do you think the candidate will most likely thrive in and why?
- What skills would you have liked to see the candidate develop to reach their full potential?
- Would you recommend this candidate?
Asking these questions will allow an employer to assess a candidate’s potential and ultimately make a decision on cultural fit. Remember that you must receive a candidate’s consent to contact their references because randomly calling up Johnny’s mom or last boss is a bit ILLEGAL without them knowing about it lol.
Till next time Happy Hiring!