When you’re hiring a new employee, you’re going to have to figure out whether or not each job candidate is qualified for the position you’re hiring for. But you also need to determine whether or not that job candidate is a safe person to hire at your company. The last thing you want to do is hire someone who has serious anger management issues or who has a lengthy and recent criminal record.
Thankfully, there are a few easy ways to ensure that a job candidate is an all-around good citizen before you send them a job offer. Here are 5 key safety measures you can take to protect your business and your employees when you’re in the hiring process.
An interview can reveal lots of valuable information about your prospective employee. During the interview, you’ll obviously be paying close attention to what the job candidate says about his or her work experience and skillsets. But make sure you ask questions about the candidate’s personal interests, like what they enjoy doing in their spare time. Most of the time your job candidate will give you something fairly conventional, but here’s your chance to spot red flags (for instance, the job candidate hunts small animals for fun).
Also, be sure to ask the job candidate a variety of “what would you do in this situation?” questions. Your candidate’s answers to these questions may reveal whether or not he or she has an unmanageable temper or unscrupulous moral behavior. Even if the job candidate doesn’t appear “dangerous,” you should avoid hiring anyone that doesn’t know how to control themselves intense situations, or else your business might be on the verge of a public relations disaster.
2. Run a Background Check
A background check is probably the easiest way to weed out job candidates who may create an unsafe work environment. Be sure that you run an FCRA compliant employment background check so you can avoid any legal issues.
Background checks will tell you whether or not a prospective job candidate has a criminal record. You should definitely be wary of hiring anyone with a lengthy criminal record, and you should under no circumstance hire anyone who has a history of violent crimes.
3. Watch Your Rhetoric
When you’re conducting a job interview with a potential employee, it’s important that you don’t give them the impression that they’re likely to get the job—even if they’re a top candidate. You won’t know if a job candidate is a repeat offender until you get the results of the background check, and you usually won’t run background checks until further along in the hiring process. If a job candidate has a violent temper, you don’t want to get their hopes up about getting a job offer only to give them the bad news that could incite their fury.
Remind all candidates that there are several stages to the hiring process and that the interviews are only part of it.
4. Review Their Social Media Profiles
It pays to establish your business on social media because social media can expose your company to a huge amount of people at a minimal cost. You can also use social media to vet potential employees (“Facebook-stalking,” as it’s called).
If you’re able to see your prospective candidate’s social media channels, check to make sure they don’t have any content that’s suggestive of violence or concerning conduct that you wouldn’t want in your workplace. No, it’s not prying. Your job as a business owner or manager is to make sure you get employees that represent your business in the best possible way.
LinkedIn is a great social media platform because you can see who job candidates are networking with. The best candidates often have a large network of reputable associates. It’s less likely that candidates with troublesome personalities will have large networks.
5. Improve Your Office Security
Always make sure you have high-quality office security equipment that will keep you and your employees safe from disgruntled job candidates (or anyone else who wants to cause trouble on your property). Install code-lock doors at your office and install security cameras in and around the office. Train your employees to be mindful of suspicious behavior around the workplace.
There may be times throughout the year where you desperately need to hire a new employee, but you should never sacrifice the safety of your office by hiring an employee that’s shown red flags. When you’re understaffed, there are lots of alternatives to hiring someone out of desperation, including outsourcing work or enlisting a virtual receptionist service.