In today’s hospitality job market, competition is tougher than ever. As a result, more and more candidates are lying – embellishing résumés, giving false employment eligibility information, even hiding prior criminal activity – to get hired.
How do you separate the good from the bad?
These days, checking references is simply not enough. To protect your hospitality organization and make the best hiring decisions, you should conduct thorough background checks 100% of the time. Implemented properly, background checks can:
- increase applicant quality;
- prevent workplace violence;
- minimize negligent hiring liability;
- reduce employee dishonesty losses – namely fraud, theft and crime;
- reduce turnover rates, by making the right hire the first time.
Here are a few guidelines to ensure your background checks are thorough, legal and effective:
- Get detailed information up front. A background check will be based, in part, on information provided by the applicant. Incomplete information can cause processing delays and oversights. For each applicant, make sure you obtain aliases and former names, work locations, birth date, social security number and the names of supervisors and co-workers.
- Beware of “instant” public records. The information contained in these databases is often not fact-checked, cleaned up or refreshed very often. As the employer, it’s up to you to make sure the information you use is current and accurate.
- Pay only for the information you need. Background-checking companies encourage you to purchase every piece of information they have on a potential employee – and charge a lot for these details.
- Use the web. While a Google search is not necessarily a trustworthy source of information on its own (anyone can post anything they want about a person on a social networking site), you can and should supplement your background checks with a web search. Professional networking sites like LinkedIn can provide insight into who a candidate is, whom he associates with professionally, etc.
- Keep background checks consistent and relevant. To eliminate potential bias, use the same procedures and tools for all candidates for the same job. Furthermore, make sure you can establish a clear connection between the background checks you use and the basic requirements for the job.
- Stay in compliance. Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), small businesses are required to have each employee sign a disclosure form granting authorization to perform a background check. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), employers are restricted from using medical or disability data in the hiring process. For more information, visit www.ftc.gov or www.ada.gov.
- Hire experts for background checks. Minimize your company’s risks and increase applicant quality by hiring a hospitality staffing service like Penguin Staff to manage part or all of your screening process. As experts in pre-employment screening, staffing services can:
- eliminate the time and headaches associated with background checks;
- ensure nondiscriminatory hiring practices are followed;
- conduct additional pre-employment screening, such as drug screens, to ensure the right candidates are hired the first time.