Remember the "good-old-days" of trying to find the perfect new employee? You would start your search by diligently studying resumes, maybe calling references and in the end hope your new employee lives up to his or her impressive resume. Too many times the perfect candidate on paper didn't turn out the way you expected, and back to the drawing board you would go.
The Internet has now made relying on resumes a thing of the past. You can find out a lot about your prospective employee—the kind of information that will shed light on whether he or she is a good fit for your culture and for the position—if you know where to look.
1. Use Search Engines
Use a favorite search site like Google or Yahoo to first determine if the information on the resume matches what is found on the Web. Does their education and work experience check out? As Pam Slim says in her new book, Body of Work, what is found on the Web builds a story about who that person really is.
2. Investigate With Social Media
Use various social media tools to get “social proof” about the job candidate. If consumers trust product reviews before purchase, why shouldn't you trust candidate “reviews”? Here's where to look:
- LinkedIn. Discount written recommendation reviews of a job candidate unless they come specifically from a former boss or customer. If all the recommendations sound the same, they may have actually been written by the job candidate. In addition, match the job history here to the one on the resume. Find out what LinkedIn groups they participate in and what their contributions are in that setting. This can be a reflection of how they would work inside a company team. Search for who the candidate is connected to and contact them to get unbiased references.
Facebook and Twitter. What types of posts do they make? What do they retweet and like? Is their social media conduct supportive, egotistical, professional or controversial? How does their behavior here reflect how they might fit into the office culture? Their contributions on social media will reflect their behavior inside the office.
- YouTube. Have they posted anything on YouTube? Most people are still very conscious of how they appear on video. What image are they trying to project, and how does it fit with the rest of the company? YouTube videos can be a sample of how they would be in front of customers.
- Pinterest. Do they have a board here? This can help you gauge what other types of interests they have outside of work.
3. Test Their Skills
Regardless of the skills the candidate proclaims on his or her resume, you should do your own testing. In a professional setting, give hypothetical situations that relate to what has already happened at the company. The candidate should demonstrate job-specific and problem solving skills. Don’t be afraid to ask them to solve problems they would face in the first month of their job at the actual interview.
4. Get a Second Opinion
Interviewing job candidates is not a solo sport. Have them meet other employees with a very short introduction and without reviewing the resume. Get unstructured feedback after the meeting on how they think the new candidate would fit into the company culture. Remember that skills can be taught, but cultural fit is something the candidate brings on his or her first day.
Be careful, however. There are some things you may want to know about your candidate, but should never ask because certain interview questions are illegal.
What do you use besides a resume to evaluate a candidate before you hire them?
Read more articles on hiring and firing.