Conducting an interview can be challenging, based on the job opening and quality of candidates who apply for the position. When hiring a new employee, it is important to take all possible precautions to find the most qualified person for the company and the position. Certain issues are sometimes overlooked by female managers who often emphasize the interpersonal aspects of a candidate over possible character defects that need to be evaluated before hiring. Here are three strategies that should not be overlooked when interviewing prospective job candidates.
Although privacy laws have become more stringent, it is always a good idea to contact former employers to see what they can share about a candidate being interviewed for a new position. Some employers will reveal very little, perhaps just the time period during which the person was an employee, or not even that information. Others may open a little more, depending on the nature of their relationship with the former employee. Some job seekers will indicate which former employees they are willing to have contacted.
Most job applicants provide the names of several references that can be contacted for pertinent information. These persons may include former coworkers, close friends, or professional associates who know something about the candidate that they are willing to share, generally information that is positive and that reinforces the candidate’s application in specific ways, such as job skills, experience, character, or volunteerism. Some references provide letters that are submitted with the job application, while others make themselves available by phone or email at the interviewer’s convenience. Take advantage of the references they provide and follow up on at least two.
Many hiring managers and HR professionals forget about or are hesitant to conduct a background check because they don’t want to view applicants as criminals, as they perceive it. But a background check can be conducted discreetly by working with an online background check organization or hiring service. It is essential for most hiring professionals to know the type of candidates being interviewed. If there is a pending legal charge or court issue that is public knowledge, that information may help an interviewer to choose a candidate with fewer problems or legal issues.
Hiring new employees should be viewed as an opportunity to recruit serviceable workers, not just make new friends or build collegial relationships. Using these three important strategies can help interviewers to make informed decisions about the applicants they are screening to select the most suitable person.