How & Why You Should Vet Your Staff Before Hiring

Why you should vet your staff before hiring? The cost of properly vetting or screening job applicants before you employ your dream candidate is miniscule compared to the losses you and your company could suffer from hiring the wrong person.

In this article we’ll outline the best practices you can use in the vetting process to save time and money by weeding out potentially inappropriate candidates.

Following these vetting procedures will also ensure you hire the best people to help your business move forward with your sights set on long-term goals.

Comparing costs Vs benefits of a robust vetting process

Your first contact with any future employees is their application form. If they’ve lied or exaggerated their skills, experience and qualifications on their application, this is your first opportunity to decide whether to proceed with the expensive and time-consuming hiring process.

The entire hiring process for just one person from start to finish usually takes more than a month and costs your company a great deal of time and money.

Most industry experts put the average cost of hiring for a single vacancy at between $3,000 and $4,000. Those costs are not always self-evident. Here are some of those upfront costs even before you start paying a salary to the new employee.

  • Paid time of recruitment staff
  • Cost of advertising the vacancy
  • Contacting and communicating with candidates
  • Performing background checks and screening
  • Time spent interviewing and administering candidates

The costs of a wrong hire can go way beyond the costs listed above.

How to properly vet job applicants

Here are the steps you can take to properly vet job applicants that will save you time, money and hassle in the long term by ensuring you end up with a shortlist of ideal candidates so you can confidently choose the best fit for the job.

Step 1: Create an accurate job description

The more concisely you word your job vacancy ad, the better your chances of attracting appropriate candidates. Remember, you shouldn’t have to sell the job to them. They have to sell themselves to you.

  • Be clear about the job description and your expectations
  • List the skills, experience and qualifications required
  • Give candidates a clear picture of how you expect them to fit in with the existing team
  • Weed out time wasters and people making mass applications by only processing applications that prove the candidates actually read your recruitment ad. You can do this by asking applicants to answer a simple question or to include a specific phrase in your ad.

Step 2: Use automated online assessment tools

Asking applicants to spend a few minutes completing an online assessment is a superb time saver for you. There are many software packages available. Choose one which fits with your line of business or corporate culture. Here are some examples.

Plum is software which helps companies hire the right candidates using a database of millions of behavioural traits with quick surveys to reveal personality traits and cognitive ability. Each candidate is then given a unique talent profile.

Koru is aimed at vetting applicants for high-calibre corporate roles by assessing desirable soft skills such as grit, rigour, impact, teamwork, curiosity, ownership and polish.

Interview Mocha helps employers rank candidates for various industries with more than 1,000 skill set tests in coding, banking, enterprise resource planning, languages, manufacturing and retail. You can customize the tests, too.

Codility is a technical recruiting platform used to automate sourcing, screening, and interviewing. It’s aimed at helping large corporations streamline their recruitment process with testing and screening.

eSkill offers customizable tests for specific job requirements in roles such as HR, sales, administration, IT, and accounting in industries including health care and hospitality. Their customers include Coca-Cola, Zappos, FedEx and Paychex.

Step 3: Find out more about candidates before interviewing them

After vetting and assessing the skills of the applicants you want to learn more about them as individuals to determine whether they have the perosnal attributes to fit in with your company culture.

You’re likely looking for a mix of characteristics which indicate an attitude to long-term commitment, ambition, drive and other positive traits – not people applying for every job they see advertised and hoping to get hired by any company, even for jobs they may not really be interested, or even capable of doing.

Amazingly, even with the ease you can look up information online, there are many lazy job seekers out there that won’t even do an online search to find out more about the companies they are applying to work for.

Ask and you shall receive

Responding to applicants and asking them a few well-chosen questions to sound them out a bit gives you feedback which greatly helps you decide whether it’s worth proceeding with the recruitment process for that individual.

You can call, email or even arrange a video interview with the applicant. Ask questions which  require them to have some knowledge of your company in order to answer. These initial steps also help you and the applicant better consider whether they really would fit in. Questions you may want to ask might include:

  • What do you know about our company?
  • Why do you want to work here?
  • What skills and experience can you bring to the position?

You can also get more of an insight into their personality with questions like these:

  • How would you handle disagreements between colleagues or bosses?
  • What challenges have you overcome?
  • What’s the most interesting project you’ve worked on?

Also give applicants the chance to ask you questions. If they are genuinely interested they should have at least have some questions in mind.

Step 4: Perform Background Screening Checks

Once you’ve accomplished preliminary screening of your applicants and whittled them down to a more desirable catchment, you can then move on to more in-depth background screening checks to find out important information and determine which candidates should be invited to interview.

This stage of the vetting process is time consuming and costly for your Human Resources department. Doing deeper background checks could mean the added cost of outsourcing a background screening company but its money well spent to guard against the much higher costs associated with a bad hire. 

CV / Resume Vetting

By this stage in the vetting process you should be left with a manageable stack of glowing resumes from promising candidates. However, you risk wasting a lot of time and money if you don’t first establish whether those individuals have been honest and transparent on their resume, before progressing to the final interview stage.

Here are the common checks done during the resume vetting process.

  • Educational qualifications & credentials
  • Professional licenses & certifications
  • Employment history
  • Reference checks
  • Credit references and history
  • Prior convictions or jail time

How long does resume vetting take?

Resume vetting is the most time consuming aspect of the recruitment process, hence the need have a dedicated team of professional recruiters with the expertise and resources to perform the myriad of background checks. 

The time taken to validate information given by the applicants on their CVs very much depends on the time required to get a response from the authorities or individuals concerned.

Checking qualifications means contacting the educational institutions and waiting for them to confirm your queries. Obtaining certified transcripts of degrees can take up to a couple of weeks. The same goes for previous employers listed as references, who may not respond immediately, or at all.

Basic credit and criminal record checks can often be quickly verified on line by agencies that have access to the information. Deeper background checks can take several days or weeks, depending on the jurisdiction you are in and the nature of your enquiry in your particular industry.

If you’d like to learn more about international vetting services for your industry you can find more information here.

Intelimasters is a background screening agency, not a law firm. This article is for informational purposes only. Nothing in it should be considered as legal advice. We encourage you to consult with legal counsel regarding your specific business and/or individual needs.


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