HIRING CHALLENGES FOR THE SMALL BUSINESS OWNER (PART II OF IV)
SOME COMMON MISTAKES (CON’T)
Not thoroughly vetting candidates before hiring
A candidate may have an impressive résumé, but how do you know he or she will be the right fit? Conducting background checks and calling previous employers for references is common practice. But, in many companies, reference checks are entirely inadequate. Human Resources usually conducts them, using a carefully orchestrated, one-sided protocol. Yes, there are legal issues, and these must be addressed. But the hiring manager or supervisor should conduct these checks. They will be working with the employee and know what is to be expected of them.
A reference call from one manager to another can be very different from a call from an HR representative. Managers will delve into more detail, and have both the expertise and the prerogative to pursue lines of questioning that HR lacks. Also, peers are more likely to be open and blunt with one another.
There’s one critical question at the end of the reference call that comes across as much more profound when the hiring manager asks it: “If you could have John work on your team again, would you hire him?” Of course the answer matters, but it’s the hesitation or the enthusiasm of the respondent that’s critical. Manager to manager, this one question can reveal more than any other kind of reference check.
When hiring, don’t only consider the importance of reference checking. Involve the people who will work with the new hire.