Friday, June 13, 2014

A business owner essential: properly vetting employees

What do potential employers have to do to properly vet an employee? Obviously carefully constructing a set of interview questions to gauge whether the applicant is a good fit is paramount. Small businesses in the midst of reviewing applicants will generally ask questions relating to previous job experience, personal characteristics, and skill sets. Indeed, asking an applicant how they found out about an open position can very revealing. Applicants simply looking for a job will typically reply that they found the position after viewing general job listings. A better bet is to find an applicant who has taken the initiative to seek out your company. They generally have a stronger interest in helping your company achieve success.

In order to find the right fit, strong applicants should be amenable to the company’s culture.  Likewise, employers should ask applicants what they like about their current job, what their preferred career path looks like, and how their skill sets have might be helpful in the position.

However, properly vetting an applicant requires more than an interview or even calling references. If an applicant gives satisfactory answers to an employer’s interview questions, time and energy can be expended on the next step in the process. That is, an employer should take a close look at an employees prior connections, credit history, arrest record (or lack thereof), certifications, and of course, employment history. However, a potential employee must sign a consent form allowing the company to conduct this kind of investigation.

If the position your company is hiring for requires multiple, discreet levels of vetting, a professional employment agency can be hired to conduct background screenings for applicants. Additionally, if your business needs to protect against any rist, a surety company may issue a bond (a surety bond is a promise to pay one party a certain amount if a second party fails to meet a contractual obligation.) A bond protects the payee against any kind of loss if the payers fails to meet an obligation.

Most interviews will not these sorts of require advanced levels of checking, but, on the other hand, an untrustworthy or, heaven forbid, criminal employee can cause a large amount of damage to a company in a small period of time. Due diligence is always recommended.