5 Ways to Vet a Potential Candidate

31 May

In this day and age it’s easier than ever before to find out information about someone, which can be extremely useful for employers, as long as they don’t overstep their boundaries.

Hiring someone is hard enough, but hiring someone and finding out later that they’re not right for the job – or even worse dangerous to your company or employees – is even worse. That’s why it’s important to find out everything you can about a potential hire before you offer them the job.

Here are five ways to vet a candidate before you hire them:

  1. Check out their social media pages. If a candidate has their social media pages set to private, then you have to respect that, but if they’ve listed public accounts on their resume or you’ve requested to friend or follow them and they’ve accepted, then social media sites are fair game. And you can find out a lot about someone based on their social media pages, from their work history and recommendations on LinkedIn, to the types of people and companies they follow and interact with on Twitter and Google+, to the pages they like and the conversations they engage in on Facebook.
  2. Read their blogs or personal websites. Aside from social media, a lot of people today have personal blogs and websites that they use for fun or to further certain personal or professional passions. Seeing what a potential candidate has to say on their blog can tell you a lot about their personality and can be a good indicator of how they may or may not fit in with the culture of your organization. You might also learn about other sides of them that could eventually come in handy for the work you need done.
  3. Do a Google search on them. Doing a Google search on a potential candidate can turn up a lot of information that can be useful in the hiring process. From social media sites or blogs they may not have listed on their resume, to news articles praising their accomplishments, to police records they neglected to mention, you’re likely to find a plethora of important info.
  4. Check public records. Knowing that your new hire has a clean background is extremely important, especially in some industries where you have to have trustworthy employees, such as education or finance. Checking in on a candidate’s public records can reveal some useful information, such as whether they move around a lot, whether they’ve been involved in any high-profile problems, etc.
  5. Perform a professional background check on them. You can find out a lot of information about a candidate for free online, but nothing beats performing a professional background check on an employee. You might have to shell out a little bit of money for a specialized company to perform such a check, but knowing that the employee you’re hiring is 100 percent right for the position is often worth the price.

Employers should keep in mind that while all of these tactics are legal, it’s always courteous to let a candidate know that you’ll be checking up on them and their history. You also have to stay within the boundaries of the law, so make sure you’re aware of what information you can and cannot legally access.


Writer and content creator passionate about recruiting, job searching, social media, and everything in between. Click here to learn more.


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