Does the Shoe Fit? How Finding the Right Candidate Isn’t Always Black and White

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Like choosing the right pair of shoes that feels great and complements your ensemble, selecting a candidate that’s right for a position – and your company – can be quite a challenge.

That’s because, today, there are an increasing number of factors that are involved in making a hiring decision. Recruiters and hiring managers must take into consideration many elements that are all very different, yet equally important when choosing their ideal candidate.

A resume is usually the starting point in evaluating a prospective employee, but there’s so much more to a candidate than what’s they’ve provided to you. You’re seeing the laces (so to speak) when you should be focusing on the sole.

This is where background verifications can be greatly beneficial.

Besides determining if the candidate was truthful about where they received their credentials and experience, it’s also important to conduct reference checks to verify not only their title and duties but understand the relationship they had with their colleagues or employer.


Source: 2015 HireRight Employment Screening Benchmarking Report

Savvy employers value this type of insight. The 2015 HireRight Benchmarking Report showed that 86 percent of organizations responded that conducting a background check revealed candidates who misrepresented themselves on their resumes or applications.

A candidate may have relevant work experience, but a reference check may reveal that they didn’t get along with co-workers and fomented a disruptive environment.

References may be asked about the candidate’s previous job responsibilities and rehire eligibility. These types of checks may give the hiring manager more insight into the candidate’s capabilities, their personalities, and their work ethic – all of which can help determine if they’re going to be a good fit for your organization.

Another crucial part of the hiring process is the personal interview, where a hiring manager can attempt to assess the candidate’s fit, not only within the job position, but also with the company’s culture and its talent.

A candidate could look perfect on paper, but lack leadership, time management skills or other traits important to your organization; where another candidate may not have as many years of work experience, yet have great collaborative skills that could add a sense of team spirit into the workplace.

While a basic check of the candidate’s work history may confirm that the candidate boasts significant experience, that experience may not translate to the requirements of the position.

While the candidate may have graduated from a prestigious college, perhaps the courses they studied have absolutely no relevance to the job.

A skilled hiring manager can not only evaluate a candidate based on their resume, professional references and interview, but be adept at reading “between the lines” and assess information gleaned from a thorough background check to make a well-informed hiring decision.

Recruiters and hiring managers should also take into consideration that the hiring process is a two way street. Not only is it a crucial time for your organization to see if the candidate is a good fit for you, but it also enables the candidate to see if the job and the company are a good fit for them.

Candidates who are not familiar with the true nature of the job that they are applying for might find they are unsatisfied once they are hired. This can lead to lower team morale and higher rates of turnover.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, of the 4.9 million total separations (quits, layoffs and discharges) in the month of April 2015, there were 2.7 million voluntary quits.

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) provides information on the consequences of turnover for a company. Not only are there monetary expenses after losing a valued employee, but the time and training it takes to hire a replacement can also hinder team productivity, causing a ripple effect of disorganization and decline in work quality.

Depending on HireRight to help you pair the best candidate with your organization can make all the difference. Check out our brand new Candidate Experience Checklist that can help you find that Perfect Pair, and if you’re attending SHRM, please stop by HireRight’s booth #1806 for a free perfect pair of comfy flip-flops and a chance to win $500 Zappo’s gift card.

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HireRight is a leading provider of on-demand employment background checks, drug and health screening, and electronic Form I-9 and E-Verify solutions that help employers automate, manage and control background screening and related programs.

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