Thomas Jefferson once (famously) said, “I am a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.”
March is a month where we talk much of luck, but often, this is just disguised as hard work. When hiring employees, a little time and hard work goes a long way.
Checking references used to be the way to go in seeing if an applicant would be a good fit for your company. Now, it’s almost become a necessity for business owners to do a full background check before hiring anyone.
The costs involved with doing an “official” background check and fingerprinting can be extremely prohibitive, especially if you’re a small business owner. There are many things you CAN do that involve a little hard work, but don’t cost anything. After doing these things, hopefully you’ll end up looking very “lucky” with the caliber of employees you end up with.
First, check and double check the educational information listed on the application. Studies have shown 20 to 30 percent of all applications include exaggerated or falsified educational information. Checking this information can immediately rule out some applicants.
Next, contact those former employers! Many employers fail to contact the former employers listed on an application. Doing this legwork can be critical in determining the “real” reasons why an employee left, and can also serve as a great tool to verify dates of employment.
Finally, call those references. Require at least three non-family references and actually call them. Many employers require references, but never utilize them to find out about potential employees.
In addition to these formal methods of looking into applicants’ backgrounds, use social media as much as possible to research into who you “really” are hiring.
Put forth this little bit of hard work and then sit back while others admire your fortunate good luck!
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