Background Checks


 Just the other day, I heard an employer say he never bothered checking any of the people he wanted to hire.  “I rely on my 30 years of experience and intuiting when I hire people.  I can get all the information I need from a face-to-face interview.”  I wasn’t in a position to reply at the time, but I can here!

 The truth of the matter, which this employer didn’t seem to see, is there are people who interview extremely well, but have a long record of poor or mediocre job performance.  On the other hand, there are people who have outstanding job performance records, but can’t say “boo to a goose” in a job interview – they simply don’t interview well, in other words.  If the only criteria used to make a hiring decision is a first impression or how well the candidate handles himself during a job interview, it’s very easy to make a very wrong hiring decision. 

 I’m reminded of the reference I talked to several years ago.  When I asked him what he thought the candidate’s main strength was, his reply was “interviewing.”  Without doing more, the candidate was hired and was terminated within six months.  As the reference said, “We found out he could do only about half of what he claimed he could.  I really wish we had done a background check now.”

 Intuition is a poor substitute for facts.