criminal records, 6% provide false social security numbers, and more than 3% test positive for illegal drugs. Performing a background check is essential to identifying exactly who you plan to hire. Ask for and check professional references thoroughly—at least three. Ask past supervisors and managers about the person’s work ethic and how they performed on the job. Also, ask if the reference would rehire the person. Depending on the position you’re looking to fill, you may also want to issue a pre-employment drug test. Failure to do so could cost you productivity and profits, as studies indicate that regular drug users are 2.5 times more likely to be absent from work, one-third less productive, and 50% more likely to steal from your company.
Asking illegal or non job-related questions: Generate your questions before the actual interview and stick to those pertaining to general background, and the skills and abilities required to do the job. Stay away from questions about age, race, or sexual preference as they could lead to discrimination complaints filed by a potential hire who feels wronged for not getting the position. Mathews advises using an updated job description prepared by the person who is leaving to help determine what you should ask. “It will set you on the right track so that you can effectively probe for those skills and competencies you’re looking for.”
Conducting an interview alone: Interviewing has become somewhat of an art, and it’s something at which people have become very good, so don’t rely on just your gut or impression when making a decision. Have at least two or three people help with the interview process, and get opinions from each. Don’t monopolize the interview by doing all of the talking. Encourage the candidates to ask questions and give them an opportunity to share experiences as well.
Failing to document the interview: Take notes during and after the interview indicating why you are considering a particular candidate. It’s critical that you document acceptable reasons because a candidate who is not given a job offer has 300 days to file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission if he feels discriminated against. “If you don’t get the complaint for 200 days, how will you ever remember why you didn’t select this person,” Mathews says.
Failing to use validated testing: Many companies create their own tests to administer and then base their hiring decision solely on how someone scores. But oftentimes these exams don’t fully measure the capabilities of a potential hire. Make sure the tests you use are valid and fair. Such things as math, editing, and personality tests can be purchased and are already proven to generate fair and equitable results. Rather than trying to test for every single competency, you may want to opt for some training instead.
Hiring one person for two jobs: Small business owners may think they can get more bang for their buck by having one person assume the responsibilities of two jobs, but an overworked employee can cause decreased productivity,