To keep your staffing business going strong, you need to find the best possible members of two groups: clients and candidates. Clients, you often have to track down, but candidates tend to come to you, especially in these high-unemployment times. But how do you find the strongest candidates?
This is the fifth post in a seven-part series over the next few weeks sharing tips for finding the diamonds in the rough of your waiting rooms.
Reference checks and background checks are two separate things, but with one common goal: to find out if this person really is who they say they are. Background checks look into credentials, criminal background and even credit, while reference checks ask people who (theoretically) know the candidate.
Last year, SI Review reported that 98% of staffing companies use background checks at least some of the time. Considering the high rates of “fibs” on resumes, background checks are a very wise move.
However, they’ve also come under some scrutiny lately. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has held hearings recently to determine if criminal background checks are discriminatory. The EEOC believes that minorities and those with long-ago convictions might be unfairly affected by such criminal checks.
Because of the potential for abuse and because they deal with people’s private information, there are many laws in place to ensure this investigative power isn’t abused. Make sure you’re familiar with current regulations regarding background checks, and have your policy on these checks posted clearly on your applications and, ideally, on the candidate section of your website.
By comparison, reference checks are much more inexact. Most companies require professional references, to double-check an employee’s work history, job duties, salary and reason for leaving.
Personal references can yield some interesting, unguarded information, but it can also be easy for an applicant to “stack the deck” with personal references who will praise them inordinately. Use these with caution.
What kind of checks do you run on candidates, and what have you learned from them? Let us know in the comments!