There have often been comparisons, rightly or wrongly, to hiring employees and finding dates.
Both require a certain mutual positive chemistry, shared interests and alignment of goals. Many can result in long-term relationships. But whereas it can be a bit touchy to run a criminal background search, do a credit check and interview references on a date, it might well be best business practices before sharing computer passwords with your next employee.
An applicant can look great on paper and sound fantastic in an interview without ever tipping off that they have a less than stellar past. Some of that might not be a cause for concern – after all, do you really want to hold against someone an arrest for a student protest from decades before?
But people are aware of the stakes when they are applying for a job, and can selectively forget to mention criminal histories and financial difficulties that can take them out of the running. It is also not unusual for people to get “creative about their educational or professional pasts – a correspondence course gets reinvented into a four year degree, a summer internship is elongated into a two year role.
Whether it is truly misleading or just poor judgment, it can be an important step in your hiring process to ensure that you have independently researched your potential employee. In fact three-quarters of small businesses now conduct background checks.