How to Screen a Prospective Employee

Screening a prospective employee happens before, during, and after the interview.  By breaking it into parts you can compare and contrast interactions and you will also be able to ensure that you don’t miss important details.  Quick decisions on a prospective employee are often made based off of emotion.  The more time you spend in the interview process, the more likely that you will be able to make an objective hiring decision.

Before the Interview

Initial Phone Interview

Some employers make the mistake of scheduling an in-person interview with every job candidate that applies and looks good on paper.  A quick phone conversation can tell you a lot about the employee.  A phone call will put them on the spot and they will feel a little more pressure.  While confidence isn’t everything, you want to make sure that your employee can speak competently about themselves and the work they will be able to achieve.

Web Search

A simple web search can reveal a lot about a person that you couldn’t find anywhere else.  Where they might have been able mind their P’s and Q’s in the interview process, they might not be so scrupulous on there Facebook page or Youtube comments.  Every individual is entitled to having a private life, but anything in excess or that goes against your company culture may be visible to you on an internet search.  On a positive side, you might be pleasantly surprised to find that the prospective employee is involved in their community or you might find out more about their hobbies.  Whether you find positive or negative information about your prospective employee, you will be more informed by conducting a simple internet search.        

During the Interview

Run a Personality Test

Know your company culture.  Does the prospective employee fit into that culture?  Is their personality conducive of their job requirements?  You don’t want a shy individual in a sales role.  Neither do you want an abusive individual in management.  While the interview process is going to give you a good feel for the employee’s personality, there are some types of people that are good at fooling you into liking them.  These are the narcissists. 

Narcissists are very good at charming people at the beginning of a hiring process only to latter reveal themselves as very self-centered and socially destructive individuals later on.  This costs the company in the long run.  Your prospective employee is useless if they can’t work competently with others.

After the Interview

Calling on Past Employers

A prospective employee with references is good, but calling on past employers directly from your own research is best.  It’s important to check whether or not the references provided to you in the interview is the same contact info as what you found doing research on the previous company.    

Run a Credit Check

Running a credit check can tell you a lot about how the employee handles their finances.  This is especially beneficial for positions that handle a lot of transactions of one kind or another, but really any job position with high amounts of responsibility are affected by the credit history of the prospective employee.  It can be an effective indicator of organizational skills and self-discipline which are both fundamental to an office work environment.  The RRD offers a credit check that combines both Transunion and Equifax into one report. 

Verify Identification, Criminal History

You obviously will want to verify that your prospective employees are who they say they are.  Using an identity check service will prevent criminals and other dishonest individuals with a bad work history from working for you. 

In most cases, you will not want to consider hiring a criminal unless there are special circumstances to do so.  It’s cheap and easy to check the criminal history of an individual and it will give you more peace of mind that they not harm anyone in the workplace.  A standard credit check can provide you a more general criminal history on the national level.  To get the most possible information, it's better to look on the county level.       

The RRD offers a Social Security Number Validation and an ID Mismatch Alert as part of its employment screening service to verify a person’s identity.