Job Placement: Look First, Hire Later

By: Pedro Gondim

Evaluating your candidate is part of the investigative process in job hiring. The increased competition for jobs in today's markets has resulted in constant pressure upon jobseekers - and as a result least 30% of them fabricate their resumes at any given time. As an employer, hiring a candidate that has provided false or misleading information about experience, skills and abilities can be a costly, inconvenient and traumatic experience. So what can be done?

Background checks

A common practice in hiring is poor background checking. Many employers tend to fast track the hiring process in order to save time and get the position fulfilled as quickly as possible. Big mistake. Background proofing can avoid head aches, particularly for HR managers. For lower rank positions, simple identity checks can probably provide the necessary information required to avoid bad placement. However, if it is a highly ranked position, such as executive and management jobs, more elaborate investigative processes should be undertaken.

Generally, the best way to perform a background check is to align the position's needs and responsibilities to the investigative process. For example, if the position involves access to the company's financial resources, the employer should conduct a financial background check. Some positions also require specific training, and failing to acknowledge this fact can incur in problems with legislation and, most likely, heavy fines. In the end, the process aims to check whether the candidate has a history related to the functions her/she will need to perform at the company.

Psychometric tests

Pre-employment testing is a common form of screening. Aptitude tests can provide valuable information regarding applicant's personality traits, practical skills, intellectual ability and more. Many companies can make use of such tests to ensure that the candidate will fit the workplace culture and will oblige to company values. To effectively conduct psychometric tests, the employer will need to define the position's duties and responsibilities.

A recent case of compensation involving Telstra and an employee reflects the need to conducting such tests. An employee which cultural background vastly differed from his work colleagues felt offended by the language used towards him. He sued Telstra on the premises of being traumatised by the treatment he received from colleagues and supervisors, and the employer had to pay compensation and provide a public apology for the event. Conducting a psychometric test could have avoided the situation as the employer would have become aware of particular personality traits of the applicant prior to placement.

Interview

The interviewing process is a good method of filtering candidates for a job, and used by almost every company in the world. A structured interview that reflects the position's needs and company requirements commonly provides value to the employer, and also plays an important role in the process of establishing good interpersonal communication links. As interviews are expensive processes (particularly when compared to testing), they should be as efficient as possible: so employers ought to ensure that the interview's framework is well designed.

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