Talent Circles

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

6 Ways to Properly Vet Prospective Job Candidates

How to Vet a Job Seeker Candidate 

While it’s a common practice for employers to call on references and confirm past employers, vetting an employee takes a bigger look into the applicant’s background. This process might include looking for prior convictions or jail time, credit checks, verifying professional licenses, or tracking employment history. The majority of all of these tasks are usually outsourced to investigative type agencies. As recruiters start to take a bigger role in the vetting process, here are a few ways to properly vet prospective candidates: 

Find a Connection: One of the best ways to gather accurate and relevant date is to find common connections. Take a look at the connections you have in common with prospective candidates and conduct your own blind interview. These types of reference checks are getting easier because of LinkedIn. If you are not only able to find out common connections, you’ll be able to find out what degree level your connections have in common.

Once you have a couple of contacts, reach out to them and ask to talk for a few minutes about your candidate. If you get a lot of responses, the candidate is more likely to get better reviews and if no one responds, well, maybe you’re wasting your time.

Google ‘Em.  One of the quickest ways to vet a candidate and locate a discrepancy is leveraging Google.  While not fail proof, googling a job seeker is a great way to vet the candidate before they actually become a candidate for a job. Searching for blogs, published articles and other professional mentions, recruiters can get insights into the prospective job seeker beyond the standard employment application or job interview. Steer clear of protected candidate information that could get you and your employer into discriminatory waters for what I call social media discrimination.

Conducting Background Checks: Once a candidate has gone through a few initial interviews they are pushed onto the next step of the interview process, and it may just be time to make a job offer. Conducting the background check is usually preceded by a job offer. Before the vetting process can begin, the employee must sign a consent form in which they allow the company permission to investigate their background.

Pre-Employment Testing: One of the best ways to test a candidate’s true skill is pre-employment testing. With the vast amount of skills testing out there this will help the recruiter find out if a prospective candidate possesses the right skills for the specific job they’re hiring for. The benefits of skills testing are numerous and outweigh the consequences for hiring someone who might not fit potential job positions. Don’t skip out on these because it's more expensive to train than to prevent a bad hire.

Video Interviewing: Video Interviewing does more than allow a recruiter feedback on standard interview questions: it allows to gain a better sense of how the candidate behaves in a more controlled environment. While under pressure it’ll show the candidates' ability to demonstrate critical thinking skills and answer questions in a quick and concise manner. With the introduction of new video interviewing services and talent networks, video interviewing will become a must in the near future to save not only the recruiter's time, but the job seeker's as well.

Invest in a Talent Network: Talent networks are hands down one of the easiest ways to vet prospective candidates. Being able to build a relationship with job seekers either active or passive will help the recruiter when a specific job position opens up. When trust is formed through talent networks, job seekers tend to let their guard down and become more open with a recruiter. This is not necessarily a bad idea on either end because it allows the recruiter to find out who they truly are and it also allows job seekers to get a better feel of what they are getting into. Before the background checks, reference screening, video interviewing, or pre-employment testing happens, it’s important to build a rapport with the job seeker. A talent network is the easiest way to do so, and is beneficial to both parties.

Vetting to Ensure Candidate Quality 

While each candidate will be vetted differently from company to company, these practices build a good foundation to follow when conducting interviews and finding a quality candidate. Make sure when vetting employees they are all done in the exact same fashion to destroy any attempts at being sued for discrimination. Ensure that consent forms are signed and easily understood before any background or credit checks are implemented. And lastly, try to avoid any type of request for information that doesn’t relate directly to the job. 

Photo Credit

Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a workplace and technology strategist specializing in social media. She’s an author who writes at Blogging4Jobs. You can follow her on Twitter @blogging4jobs. 


  1. I love this post very much.please keep sharing of knowledges with us.
    how to become a vet

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