Managing Employees, Hiring
September 19, 2013
As business owners and human beings we want to believe that the people we interview for jobs are telling us the truth about their abilities and experience. However, it’s wise to remember the Russian proverb that President Ronald Reagan often quoted: “Trust, but verify.”
Most of us do make an effort to check references and past employment. We may also feel that a technical person who overstates his or her abilities will soon be found out, so they’re less likely to lie and, therefore, our risk is minimal. Unfortunately, there are a number of other reasons to check into a potential new hire’s background:
Thorough pre-employment investigations including official criminal background checks, verification of previous employment and job performance, and drug testing can save a company a great deal of trouble. There are no guarantees, of course, but you’re less likely to hire a problem employee if you do your homework. One word of caution: It’s important to establish and document specific background check policies and apply them consistently to everyone who applies for a job. That way every applicant is treated fairly and you can defend yourself against any charges of discrimination.