Posts Tagged ‘How to Hire Employees’

Employers: Be on the Lookout for Phony Résumés

Friday, September 23rd, 2011

employee background check, employee prescreeningIf you’re a business owner or hiring manager who’s getting ready to do some hiring, you may need to be aware of résumé fraud—especially if it’s been awhile since you last hired a new employee. As the recession drags on, every job opening has the potential to bring in more applicants than you might expect. Some could be long-unemployed applicants who desperately need work, while others could be gainfully employed and seeking new opportunities.

No matter what the applicants’ backgrounds, some could go beyond stretching the truth about their work or education history and fabricate some—or all—of their résumé. With every job desired by more applicants, some may venture beyond getting creative to stand out from the competition into fraudulent means to land a job.

Verifying Educational Credentials
These days, it’s not difficult to obtain a phony degree or diploma, or to create bogus college transcripts. Some applicants will go so far as to rent a mailbox and supply that address for a fake alma mater, so that any requests for verification come directly to him or her. They can then do whatever is needed to substantiate their claim of a degree.

Employers can thwart this scam by having a pre-employment screening firm verify educational credentials, including what schools an applicant attended, any degrees earned and even grade-point averages. Employers may also ask the applicant for written authorization to obtain transcripts directly from a college or university.

Verifying Employment History
Job applicants may have a long history of magically matching their work experience directly to a job description, but now things have gone beyond a bit of résumé fudging. Expanding on job duties, exaggerating dates of employment or creating past employers out of thin air are not unusual occurrences.

When you receive a résumé from an applicant, look for clues that he or she is either exaggerating skills or fabricating them completely. Some will use functional résumés, which offer a laundry list of job tasks performed, but don’t tie them to specific positions. This can hide any employment gaps or job-hopping.

Asking applicants to perform written or verbal tests that can verify job skills is a good way to weed out those who are unqualified. And pre-employment screening is a great way to verify that an applicant actually worked for an employer listed on his or her résumé.

Avoid Fake Résumés
Another good method of screening out fake résumés is to ask the candidate to complete a written job application that asks for the same information contained on a typical résumé. If you have an applicant who purchased a ready-made résumé online—a too-common practice—they may have not memorized its contents, and are u therefore nable to recreate it on the job application.

Do not skip over these steps in the verification process, no matter how desperately you need to fill a position. You’ll almost never be sorry when you plan well advance and take your time. And once you’ve narrowed the field to a handful of candidates, conducting a thorough background check, credit check and employment verification through a trusted pre-employment screening service is your final step in hiring the right candidate that you will be able to trust.

How Does Your Hiring Process Compare?

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011

employee screening, employee background checkMost employers have a typical hiring process of advertising a position, weeding out applications, conducting interviews and hiring the best-fit candidate. However, there are extra steps in the process that you may be overlooking that could help your company hire better-quality employees, and even reduce your turnover.

Screening applicant resumes: While the number of applicants for a given position may affect resume review, there are some standard procedures you can implement to help make the best choice:

  • First, make a list of your must-have and can-live-without qualities for your new hire. Is following the instructions for applying for the position absolutely critical? If you asked for a cover letter and an otherwise-standout resume is missing it, will it be tossed?
  • Next, to avoid reading every word on every resume, determine what keywords best describe the employee you need to hire, and then scan resumes for those words.
  • Be sure to apply the same parameters and requirements to every applicant.

Start conducting phone interviews: The purpose of a phone interview is to be certain a candidate understands the job description and requirements, and that the salary range aligns with their expectations. If it’s not a good fit for either side, going further is a waste of time.

Phone interviews are also a good way to determine if the candidate has the communication skills necessary for the position. If they’re applying for a customer service job, but cannot establish a good rapport over the phone, they will probably not be successful.

First-round interviews are typically the next step, for applicants who pass the initial screening and do well on the phone interview. Expect to spend 45 minutes to an hour with each candidate; if the interview is not going well and needs to be cut short, you may have a problem with your process up to this point. If the candidate is not a good fit or not qualified for the job, the resume screening and phone interview should have revealed this.

Follow up after the interview: Be polite—it can pay off! The frustration of job seekers can be exacerbated when they don’t hear anything after an interview. It’s just as important to make a good impression on potential employees as it is for them to make a good impression on you. Once you’ve eliminated a candidate from contention sure to send a brief email thanking him or her for their time and informing them that another candidate was selected.

Why is this so important? You never know what can happen, whether your first choice candidate declines the job offer, or you decide you’ve made a hiring mistake a month in. Plus, it’s all about your company’s brand—do you want to be known as a professional and polite firm or the onethat leaves people hanging? Developing good relationships with everyone who comes in contact with your company is a great way to spread goodwill.

Make the decision: When it’s time to choose the applicant who will join your company as an employee, look for enthusiasm and culture fit. If a candidate has the same basic skills as four other applicants, but is pumped up about coming to work and excelling, you probably have a winner. Before making the hire offer, be sure to conduct a pre-employment screening to ensure that the candidate’s credit and criminal history are clean. Keep your other employees and your company safe from potential harm with pre-employment background checks.

Hiring Tip: Look For Employees Who Fit Your Culture

Wednesday, January 5th, 2011,, employement screening If your businesses not only made it through the recession, but is gearing up for higher sales or productions, congratulations! You’ll probably be venturing back into the hiring pool, too—and if it’s been a while since you’ve dipped a toe in it, this is a good time to re-think your previous strategies and try something new.

Hire for Good Fit and Train For the Job
Sure, experience counts for a great deal when you’re hiring a new employee. But for long-term success, a number of companies look at how well employees fit their culture, not how many years of experience they’ve gathered.

Zappos is an online mega-store, which started out selling shoes but now sells clothing and accessories, too. Zappos‘ employees work hard toward common business goals—and they think of themselves as a family. And when it comes to hiring new employees, Zappos’ carefully-crafted company culture rules. (You can’t let just anybody into your family.) They look for people who are “fun and a little weird.” Potential hires also must embrace the company’s nine other core values, including “be humble,” “do more with less” and “deliver WOW through service.”

Another example of success is Southwest Airlines—pretty much the only profitable airline around. Southwest hires for attitude and trains for skills. Their interview process includes group tasks, which help determine if an applicant has the right attitude and/or leadership abilities. They want more employees who have fun, don’t take themselves too seriously and are “passionate Teamplayers.” At Southwest, they know that “Happy Employees = Happy Customers. Happy Customers keep Southwest flying.”

If you’re going to be hiring employees soon, you might want to adopt some of these ideas as your own.

Tips For Hiring Employees Who Fit In

  1. Look for passion: for your company, your product or service, and for life.
  2. Find out if an applicant has the same values as your company: if fun is important in your company culture, a dour employee won’t be as successful as one that loves to have fun.
  3. Embrace individuality. Don’t limit your hiring to clones of yourself or other employees.
  4. Ask applicants to do something unusual: Like write an essay about their hobbies, goals or grandparents. Have them meet your team, send in a video, or list their top ten movies, books, or albums.

Remember, even if you think you’ve found a perfect-fit employee, it’s always smart to conduct a thorough pre-employment screening. Checking an employee’s background, including credit check and criminal records check, is the only way to know for sure that you’re making the best and safest hiring decision.

5 Tips for Hiring When You Have Too Many Choices

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

too many hiring choicesFor many employers, hiring new staff is not an issue they’re dealing with right now. But for those who are expanding or replacing workers, good hiring decisions are necessary to stay viable. If areas of your business growing and need additional staff, here are some tips to prepare for the onslaught of employment applicants you’ll likely see.

1. Gauge Real Interest: You might receive a hundred responses to an advertised position, so screen for the truly interested candidates—before you start reviewing resumes. Send an email to every applicant asking him or her to complete a simple second step—like attending an information session or answering a few preliminary questions. Those who do not respond can be culled out immediately.

2. Schedule Interviews over One or Two Days: Depending on how many candidates you decide to see, plan to interview them all, back-to-back, over one or two days. Dragging the process out over a week or two is inefficient. And only seeing those job-seekers who are able to meet on your schedule is another way to screen out the less-than-enthusiastic.

3. Involve Your Staff: It’s wise to expand interviewing to more than just HR or hiring managers. When co-workers are encouraged to participate in the hiring process, they feel a sense of appreciation—and this approach creates camaraderie right from the beginning. New employees who know that everyone they work with had a hand in their hiring feel more accepted and transition more quickly.

4. Consider Conducting Personality Tests: Some firms have potential candidates complete 15-minute questionnaires that predict behavior, style, and motivation.

5. Observe Candidates Outside the Interview: Creative companies bring finalists into the workspace for a day or two of observation. Both candidates and existing staff and management do the observing—each side to see if the potential hire and company culture are a good fit. Taking candidates to lunch or dinner, or just hanging out after work in relaxed settings with other staffers can be very telling. Human nature leads us all to behave one way in an interview and another when we’re relaxed and having fun.

The best pre-employment screening process includes employee background checks, employee credit checks, and criminal background checks. You’ll know you’re hiring safe when you screen employees before offering a position.

When to Hire: Making the Leap From Solopreneur to Employer

Thursday, August 20th, 2009

Hiring Employees on Employee Screening BlogWhat does it mean to hire your first employee? Hiring employees is a major growth point that really takes a small business to another level. While it’s not easy knowing you’re completely responsible for your own livelihood, it’s quite another to take on another person’s. Talk about pressure to perform! No employer wants to hire an employee, only to have to let them go when business falters.

So, how do you know when it’s the right time to hire? Many business managers believe that a business should stay lean—especially in this economy. Plenty of successful companies run with fewer people than they really need. You might approach hiring by asking yourself the question, “is it going to be nice to have this person, or do I absolutely need this person?”  Having a bare-bones staff actually adds to the development of employees’ talents and abilities. Asking for more creativity and problem solving from employees allows them to grow and discover where they can excel.

Letting Go
We’ve all heard a business owner say, “I’d rather do it myself than tell someone else how to do it.” Hiring employees means a business owner must get used to letting go of a number of responsibilities—some of which they’ve been performing since day one. As a single-employee business, an owner is often salesperson, marketing department, financial officer and janitor—and can easily fall into the mind set that nobody cares as much, so no one will perform these tasks with the same level of care as they will.

But nobody can do everything a business needs to run successfully forever. In the short term, perhaps—but if your business is not growing, it’s dying. As an owner, you should be thinking forward, planning growth and strategy, and making the big decisions. This includes knowing when it’s time to hire staff to handle the everyday tasks. Not letting go can lead to a less successful business in the long term.

Balance Staffing with Customer Service
There is a balance between running a lean company and falling short on customer service. Obviously, customers must come first to keep sales healthy, and if your staffing level does not serve the customer, something needs to change. Foster a company culture where employees feel free to communicate their own and the customers’ concerns regarding service levels. Ask your staff for feedback and let them know that you are committed to customer service first.

When you are ready to hire your first employees, be sure to check out our Pre-Employment Screening services. Protect your business, increase your peace of mind and lower turnover by hiring smart!