Questions to ask during an employment or education background check
It has been a while since we’ve focused on the hiring process specifically, but in light of a major incident of resume fraud, it’s a good time to take a look at your business’ employment, reference and education background check processes and make sure you’re asking the right questions when presented with a new candidate for hire. After it was discovered that Andrew Jeffrey Flanagan had lied on his resume to land a senior executive position at the retail behemoth Myer — the parent company of dozens of clothing brands, such as Calvin Klein, Jockey and Levi’s — recruiting company Quest Personnel confirmed that Flanagan had passed local and international reference checks before being hired as a manager of strategy and business development. When it comes to hiring great team members, is a basic background check enough? How can you ensure that the things listed on a resume, such as the candidate’s education or employment history, is accurate? It may take more than just a reference check or education background check. Here are some good questions to ask. Ask the candidate…
- Ask for at least three or four references, and ensure that at least two or three of them are educational or professional references, including at least one former supervisor. Make sure that none of them are family members.
- Speak to them over the phone if possible, so you can ask follow-up questions based on the references’ answers. Things to ask may include how long they have known the candidate, how the prospect works in teams, and whether or not they could be considered reliable. Ask open-ended questions to avoid “yes” or “no” answers. Don’t rush the reference check.
- Confirm the dates of the candidate’s employment. While you could ask this of the person that was listed as the candidate’s direct supervisor, you may be able to get more accurate records by contacting the human resources department, which should have record of all previous employees or contractors. Ask to be transferred to HR at the end of the conversation.
- Confirm the dates for any educational training or degree programs during an education background check. Even if the person did not graduate from the program, the academic records department or bursar will have a record of when the candidate attended the institution.
- If their CV lists that they did graduate, confirm the graduation year, program, type of degree, or any other information the candidate provided. If they’re willing to lie about something small and seemingly insignificant, they may be willing to lie about bigger things as well.
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