In the world of recruitment it’s often said that “it’s not over ’till the fat lady sings“, and so it’s best to try to prevent any last minute nasty surprises.
Once you’ve advertised the position, narrowed down the field and finally identified the perfect candidate, before you make them an offer, here is a check list of four useful tips to help you through the last important pre-employment screening phase.
Don’t simply rely on a written reference. It could have been written by anyone. Do TWO verbal reference checks and when you do, keep these things in mind:
These days, most people have an online footprint of some kind, whether it’s on a social media platform such as Facebook or Twitter, a blog site or a personal web page.
Do a search and see what comes up. You may be surprised at what you find. Despite the public nature of the internet, people are often still careless about what they say and reveal to others.
People have been known to disparage previous employers in chat rooms and if that turns out to be the case with your candidate, you need to ask yourself, “Would I like them to be talking about me and my organisation that way one day?”
If the candidate is currently employed and there is a likelihood their employer may wish to retain their services, now is the time to broach the subject of potential counter offers. Ask the candidate what they would do if their current employer threw money at them to get them to stay.
The candidate’s answer will tell you if money is their primary motivation for changing jobs. If it is, finding out now may save you from a nasty surprise later on, when the candidate suddenly withdraws their application.
If their answer suggests they would be tempted by more money, but you still think they are the best candidate for the job, remind them that 85% of candidates who accept a counter offer end up leaving anyway within the next three months.
If possible, sit down with the candidate and go through the employment contract with them point by point. Seeing their honest reaction to the contract terms will show you where any potential sticking points might lie and allow you to tackle their questions head on and hopefully iron out any problems.
Pre employment screening is never foolproof, as people can be very adept at hiding their true feelings. By following the rules and taking precautionary steps such as those outlined above, you may be able to stop any train wrecks before they happen and, at the end of the day, be quietly confident that you have hired the right candidate for the job.
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