Hire or Fire: 4 Things to Consider Before Dismissing a Candidate

In search for this week’s topics I stumbled across the blog Workforce. Workforce is an HR blog that covers various topics concerning employers. It is a great resource that provides advice through blog posts, webinars, publications and Q&A from its audience.

It was a Workforce Q&A that caught my attention today, an HR associate asked:

What Do You Do When an Employee Fails a Background Check?

The team at Workforce gave a great and informative answer referencing the EEOC’s guidance on the Consideration of Arrest and Conviction Records in Employment Decisions.

Read more of their advice on criminal records here.

We covered a topic similar to this a few months back and like Workforce, we gave answers from a legal standpoint. So for today’s post I would like to take this topic and expand beyond legalities. By the end of my post you should be armed with the right tools to hire and fire with confidence.

Hire or Fire?

A background check is thought of as a formality by many. Most employers only use it to check criminal records but a background check should and can include more than a criminal record search. So what then? What do you do when an employee fails a reference check or you find out they are a credit short from that degree? When should you hire and when is it appropriate to fire?

Here is the best advice we can give you:

  1. Re-Verify

When you get an unexpected result from a background check your first step should be to re-verify that you have the right John Doe. Mistakes can happen. Before you cost someone a job opportunity, cross reference all your information. Once you are positive you have the right results then continue on with the rest of the steps to make your final decision.

  1. Examine the Situation

Before making a decision it is always smart to step back and examine the situation. What was the result and will it affect the candidate’s ability to perform the job? These questions could save you from firing a great candidate or from a costly lawsuit.

  1. Did the candidate lie or mislead?

After you examine the nature of the position look at the candidate – did they lie on their application or resume. Or did the background check bring up something that they just failed to mention. Everyone is human, it is possible that they made a mistake filling out information. However, it is also common for applicants to stretch the truth to land a job interview. If it was an honest mistake, reexamine and hire; if it was a blatant lie, that’s a sign to fire.

  1. Use personal assessments

This assessment is similar to the assessment used with criminal records but slightly different. Just because a person does not fit the job description does not mean they will make a bad employee. Something not so stellar may show up on a background check and that’s ok. Combine all the advice we gave you with your judgment. Sit down with the candidate and address your concerns- they may surprise you.

I would like to thank Background Noise and Workforce for my inspiration today and I hope these tips come in handy next time you are hiring. Remember a background check is supposed to help make your hiring decision easier. Have more questions or concerns? Our experts are always here to help. Feel free to contact us with any questions.

Have any more advice on hiring? We would love know, please feel free to share it in the comments below.

This entry was posted in Background Screening, Criminal Records, General, Human Resources, Industry Solutions, References & Credentialing by Patricia Carlson. Bookmark the permalink.

Patricia Carlson is a content writer who specializes in B2C and B2B inbound marketing. She blogs regularly for clients about the background screening and finance industries, and generates newsletters, white papers and email campaigns for a variety of businesses. Patricia also produces a heavy rotation of editorial material for home design, law enforcement, and family magazines. She’s been writing professionally for more than a dozen years, and for Active Screening for more than two of those. Check out LinkedIn for a roster of Patricia's clients and links to published works. When she’s not interviewing sources or researching trends, she’s living a fast-paced Florida life questioning the antics of her two young children, partner and mischievous cat. Patricia loves to talk tennis and TV on Twitter - give her a shout @pattycfreelance.
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