How to Gauge a Potential Hire’s Trustworthiness

When we set out to hire, we, of course, want to find a talented & trustworthy candidate, but it’s easier said than done. The hiring process can be exhausting and complex both for candidates and employers. Companies often receive an overwhelming number of applications, and it can be hard to make sense of all that information. In this blog, we break down a few ways you can gauge the trustworthiness of your potential hires.

First things first, verify resume information:

You can start weeding out candidates by simply checking basic resume information. Make sure the dates of employment make sense, that the companies listed actually exist, and look for any possible exaggerations. Some candidates are tempted to inflate their achievements in ways they consider harmless. The truth is that even white lies can be an indicator of the character of your potential employees.

Use the interview to vet them:

When people say they get a “sense of someone” upon meeting, don’t dismiss it. Gut instinct and first impressions go a long way when it comes to identifying the best candidates for your company. When you interview potential hires, ask them to identify a time when they made a mistake and how they handled it. If they struggle to give a response or say they have never made any mistakes worth mentioning, then that gives you a good sense of how they see themselves. Everyone makes mistakes, big and small, and there is no shame in that. Being able to see one’s mistakes and then find ways to correct the mistake shows humbleness, self-reflection, and, yes—trustworthiness.

Ask for more than three references:

When it’s time to call other companies to check references, ask for more than three references when possible. It can give you a wider view of their previous work behavior. Avoid using the phone numbers provided by the candidates themselves. Instead, use the numbers publicly available to everyone when you try to contact any past employer. Also, ask the reference some of the same questions you asked the candidate. Did the candidate ever make a mistake? How did they handle it? Did the candidate ever stick up for what they believe in? If so, how? Were they reliable and do other colleagues at the company feel they could be counted on?

Background screening:

Consider doing a background check, or a pre-employment background screening. Doing so helps improve the quality of hire, increases safety and security, and can help decrease turnover.

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