Researching Candidates? Skip Google and Do These 6 Things

Gathering information is so easy these days. From professional services, like tax preparers and electricians, to personal desires, such as restaurant menus and movie schedules, the answers are always at our fingertips, thanks to our smart phones and Google.

So, it seems logical for hiring managers to use the same approach when researching a job candidate. Plug their name into Google, and see what turns up, right? Wrong. In this case, it should be avoided at all costs. 

Keep Google out of candidate searches

Here’s the issue with online searches: they can reveal information about candidates that cannot be considered in the hiring process. To exclude candidates based on things like age, race, religion, gender identity, and sexual orientation, among other areas, is discriminatory and illegal. Employers that go down this road are asking for serious trouble.

There are also questions surrounding the accuracy of information gathered online. For instance, it’s entirely possible to come across reports of someone’s arrest or conviction in a criminal case. It’s also possible that two (or more) people could share the same name – and that the person identified in the reports is not the candidate. Another reason to avoid Google searches in favor of more useful methods. 

6 approaches for better candidate research

There are much better ways to gain insight into candidates than online searches. Here are six to start with.

1) Establish do’s and don’ts for the hiring process. Make a list and share it with each hiring manager. It keeps everyone on the same page and ensures there are no questions about what’s acceptable and what isn’t. 

2) Create a solid set of interview questions. Hiring managers should be asking candidates open-ended, behavioral-based questions. Develop a common set that each interviewer can work from. 

3) Use behavioral assessments. When benchmarked against the skills and expectations of the role being filled, these can be enlightening. With more data to consider, the more informed a final decision will be. 

4) Check into work history. Verifying employment and conducting reference checks remain a staple of candidate research. The inquiries made in those areas are key to learning more about a potential employee.

5) Seek professional assistance. Something doesn’t feel quite right? Or, perhaps the role being filled is particularly sensitive? Consider engaging a company that specializes in background checks and/or social media review to fill in any gaps. 

6)  Use second interviews. If research turns up any areas of concern, schedule and conduct a second interview. This time, ask the candidate more detailed questions that directly address those topics.

Amid the rush to land top talent, especially in today’s challenging job market, it remains essential for employers to execute a proper – and legal – hiring process. Alaant is well-versed in helping employers hire great employees by doing it the right way. Need some expert guidance? Contact us today and let’s get the conversation started!

About the Author

Miriam Dushane

Miriam Dushane, Managing Partner

Miriam is all in when it comes to doing whatever she can to help the Capital District grow and thrive. She is passionate about helping talented professionals find the right job and her work in the community is focused on furthering our area as a center of economic vitality. Miriam likes to garden and care for her pets. She is a member of an adult-only skate group where she rollerblades every week. She loves the Mets! And she is obsessed with vacuum cleaners; she really likes to vacuum and has 6 right now.