The Importance of a Thorough Vetting Process for Employment

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With a 4.9 percent national unemployment rate and the economy showing renewed momentum the battle for top talent is fierce.  Employers face strong competition for great candidates. However, a bad hire can actually be worse than not filling an open position at all. According to a recent poll conducted by a prominent job board, 24 percent of employers estimate a single bad hire can cost them more than $50,000. Bad hires cause project delays, missed delivery dates, and may necessitate re-work, not to mention the time away from the project spent by the team as it tries tofind the right candidate to backfill the bad hire.  

The best way to avoid making a bad hiring decision is to have a thorough vetting process. Further, according to a recent survey, 75 percent of professionals said that a potential employer’s screening process affects their decision on whether to continue or remove themselves from candidacy. Employers need to understand that while they are vetting potential employees, those candidates are also vetting the potential employer.

Here are four essential components that should be part of your company’s vetting process for employment:

Detailed Job and Value Propositions

Before an employer starts looking for talent, they need to put together a job description that describes the position. Further, candidates need reasons outside of the job description to consider the opportunity. The value proposition should include information about work/life balance, training opportunities, mentorship, benefits, current exciting projects the company is working on, and career advancement opportunities. If your company is in the news, send background information and relevant links to candidates that will be included in the interview process. This promotes awareness and helps them get a good baseline understanding about your company.

A Face-to-Face Interview

A leading recruiting company recently asked candidates if they had ever lied during an interview. Shockingly, 60 percent admitted lying during an interview, with 40 percent saying they did so to impress the interviewer. One of the best ways to avoid hiring someone who lies during the interview process is to have a face-to-face interview. Nonverbal cues like facial expressions, eye contact and social skills are best evaluated through an in-person interview. While having candidates from outside the area travel to your office can be costly and time consuming, you need not worry: there are many video conferencing systems that can be a reliable source and a suitable alternative to having candidates make the trip.

A Technical Interview

A great way to vet new talent, particularly in technical roles, is to have the candidate screened by one of your company’s top technical people. This process will not only act as a litmus test for the candidate’s technical skills, but will also give potential team members an opportunity to interview the candidate as well. It’s important to involve team members in the process to understand if the candidate is both technically strong and a solid culture fit. Recent studies have concluded that employers are increasingly prioritizing culture fit over skills when hiring – that an employee who is a strong cultural fit is more likely to work well with other successful employees, and to continue to build his or her skills. At the same time, an employee who is not a good culture fit is more likely to leave for another company.

Reference Checks from Past Supervisors

A recent study suggested that 50 percent of references obtained are not from past supervisors. Further studies have concluded that a majority of references do not include information about the candidate’s technical abilities and personal attributes. References from former managers are critical to the vetting process; asking a former supervisor about a potential candidate’s performance can provide great insight on whether the candidate would be a good fit. Asking about soft skills can help verify if the candidate is a culture fit for the organization. 


While a thorough vetting process will enable a higher level of success in finding great candidates, be aware it does take time. Agency recruiters spend at least 40 hours finding a candidate for their clients, and another 10 hours vetting them. Using a staffing company as a resource is a great solution, considering the time needed to find top talent. Companies that leave the vetting process to the experts, such as successful recruiting firms like Alaant, find they have more time to devote to their projects and clients.  alaant workforce solutions

About the Author

Jaime Toolan

Jaime Toolan, Senior Talent Resource Manager

Jaime is passionate about building Tech Valley’s technical workforce. He led the efforts to recruit valuable IT talent to the area and now specializes in finding ServiceNow Technical Experts nationwide. Jaime values integrity as a recruiter and believes being honest and ultimately doing what is best for the client builds successful relationships. He also finds himself buying chocolate regularly to keep his co-workers happy. In his downtime, he enjoys watching the New York Yankees and also plays softball and golf when he can. 

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