The ultimate success of a company is inextricably linked to its workforce. A company might possess every other advantage, but without quality employees, failure is only a matter of time. The tasks involved in interviewing and assessing talent may seem time-intensive, but your investment will repay the effort expended. Implement a hiring strategy flexible enough to find the right candidate while at the same time weeding out those who are less desirable.
Searching a candidate’s social media account can help you avoid hiring a problematic employee. Increasingly, companies are investigating prospective employees’ Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Facebook accounts. Employers should look for red flags that might reflect on an employee’s work performance. Images or posts about illegal drug use, rants about their current employment and even poor spelling indicate that the prospective employee might be a bad fit or a source of needless headaches.
Some companies overlook the references listed on an applicant’s resume. This is a mistake. First, you can assess a candidate’s honesty by verifying the references. If any are false or misleading, this suggests a dishonest applicant. Should the references pan out, ask the contact specific questions. General questions such as how they would rate the employee are informative but dig deeper. How often was the applicant absent? If the applicant was part of a team, how seamlessly did they collaborate with their colleagues?
It’s surprising how often hiring committees use the same bank of questions for every applicant. Tailor a specific set of questions that will better reveal whether the applicant will be a good match for the company. Overly personal and outright illegal questions are inappropriate, but you can ask them about previous employment. Ask them to describe the most difficult project they worked on. How was it completed? If they offer a vague answer, go further. Be alert for any signs of residual complaints. You want a candidate who talks about how gratifying the job was.
Researching a potential employee offers numerous benefits. You will not be wasting time by spending it interviewing a candidate who proves to be a bad match. You’ll be conserving the productivity of your current employees by not forcing them to carry a weak team member. Over time, a bad hire will cost enormous amounts of resources and money. You can avoid that by planning ahead.