As a business owner who stands to lose a lot if you hire the wrong employees, it is incredibly important to invest time in finding the right people. The following are four ways that you can research your potential employees:

Do a Google or Social Media Search

Many businesses are now using the social media to find out information on work prospects. They are taking to search engines such as Google and social media sites like Facebook and Twitter to find out additional information on prospects. Make sure that you find the right person when using this method of research. It may be difficult to find a candidate, especially if they have tight privacy settings. When you conduct this kind of research, make sure you stay within your legal limits. Individuals have a right to privacy and you may accidentally find information you shouldn’t use in your hiring decisions.

Conduct a Thorough Background Check

You can hire a third-party company to conduct a thorough background check that would include checking the person’s educational documentation and communicating with the companies for which the person claims to have worked. Third-party verification companies can save you time and money. They can conduct a standard criminal history search as well to see if your prospect is involved in any current criminal activities. Using this method allows you access to important information, without infringing on the privacy of your potential employees.

Contact the References

Contacting references is another great way to research a potential employee. Since applicants provide the references, you may have to get creative in your questioning to incite some honest answers. Ask references questions like:

  • Based on your experience working with this person, how would she handle a disgruntled customer?
  • If this person committed to something, how confident would you be in it happening?
  • Could you tell me about this person’s sales tactics or customer service ethics?

If you don’t have time to contact all the references, it may be helpful to consider the people that are listed as references. If the references are supervisors or co-workers from recent jobs, this is a good sign. On the other hand, having references from older jobs and people that they have not associated with in a professional capacity might be a warning sign.

Search the Public Records System

Finally, you can search the public records system. The public records system has records and reports about crucial information such as divorces, house auctions and things like that. It can possibly give you some insight into the person’s financial situation or life situation.

You can use any of the above-stated techniques to research a potential candidate. However, you can still give that person a chance if he or she seems level-headed and has a slew of qualifications and recent achievements. The previous suggestions are just tools that you can use.

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