HR Hot Tip for August 2017

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Can You Always Avoid Hiring Troublemakers?

Unfortunately, you probably won’t be able to avoid all troublemakers, but with diligent efforts you will avoid most of them. There are numerous strategies which can be used when recruiting and hiring. Once of the best methods is to conduct reference/background checks.

To avoid hiring troublemakers, do consistent, detailed reference checks:

        Be sure to talk to current or former direct supervisors, if possible.
        Explore the red flags uncovered on the application and during the interview. The applicant’s job history is one of the most over exaggerated information on a resume and/or employment application.
        Stick with questions about performance on the job.
        Engage a professional agency to conduct background checks appropriate to the position.

One of the most effective checks you can do is just to compare all the information you have. Are the resume and application consistent with each other and with information gained during background checks, reference checks and interviews?

If you have trouble getting former employers to open up, follow these tips:

        Have the employee sign a waiver. Fax the waiver to the person you need to talk to.
        Play hardball. Tell the person that you won’t be able to consider the applicant unless you can get a reference.
        Quote job reference immunity laws. Over half the states have laws protecting employers from liability for statements made in job references, as long as the information is true, provided in good faith, and devoid of malice. Those statutes are designed to encourage employers to share useful information with one another, rather than giving only names, positions, and salary levels. If your state has such a law, let applicants’ former employers know about it when you interview them.

Can You Avoid All Troublemakers?

Probably not. But even if a few slip through, it’s worth the effort if you keep some out of your organization. At the very least, you’ll establish your good-faith effort to screen candidates.

You do not want to be on the witness stand explaining how you never quite got around to doing the reference checks on one of your new employees who just committed a violent act – one that he or she had committed before at a former place of employment.

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