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How to Screen a Potential Employee: Your Complete Guide

Are you wondering how to screen a potential employee? Check out this guide to learn how it’s done.

Finding good employees might seem like an easy task but it can be difficult when you have no knowledge of the individual’s prior history. Bringing on the right people to your team requires that you to know about more than what they can offer. You should also make sure that they are exactly who they say they are.

For these reasons, it’s important to have a process that can help you to be sure you aren’t making the best decision on candidates that you’re considering. Keep reading this guide on how to screen a potential employee for your company.

Do A Thorough Interview

Typically when a company is interested in a potential employee, they schedule an interview. During the interview process, you should be able to get to know the person a little by asking the appropriate questions. Sometimes hiring managers miss the mark, however, by not running the interviews correctly.

It’s best to focus on interview questions that are open-ended and can give you an insight into how the person thinks and operates. You should create scenarios where the individual would have to put themselves in the scene and explain what they would hypothetically do. You should also try to find out about their personality traits, skills, and habits that might deem them a good fit for the job.

Run Background Checks

Everyone has a past and although we aren’t defined by those choices, you should still take them into consideration when screening a potential employee. One of the best legal ways to do this is to run background checks.

Performing police background checks tells you whether or not the person has been engaged in criminal activity, what type, and how many times. Again, people can change, but you should know the whole truth about someone that you want to trust in the future. Also, give the individual a chance to explain their prior offenses during the hiring process.

Have Multiple Meetings

Most times, you can’t get a complete feel for a person with just one meeting. A lot of hiring departments have added multiple stages to their process in which a candidate goes to more than one interview. Each time the potential employee makes it to the next stage, they are meeting someone higher up in the ranks.

This is a good idea for employee screening because it gives different authorities in the company a chance to add in their thoughts on an interviewee.

Connect on Social Media

Today’s world is practically run by digital screens, and most of your candidates will be engaged in those screens via social media. Connecting with a potential employee on sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn can give you a closer look at the individual.

Remember, everyone is entitled to their privacy and what they do in their downtime may not affect their work performance. It’s important that you ask for permission to connect with their person instead of trying to sneak onto their profile.

Looking for More Info on How to Screen a Potential Employee?

The most important part about finding the right people for your company is to make sure that the screening process is thorough. Take your time in making the best decision but try not to drag it out for too long.

A great potential employee could be right at your fingertips so be sure to take notice of everything. If you enjoyed this article and need more advice on hiring, check out our blog section today.

The Advisor’s Corner – Can I Afford a Bad Hire?

Can I Afford a Bad Hire?Question:

Can I Afford a Bad Hire?

StrategyDriven Response: (by Roxi Hewertson, StrategyDriven Principal Contributor)

Fact 1: No one can afford a bad hire!
Fact 2: Nationally, about 50 percent of hires, fail. Of those that succeed only about 20 percent are top performers.
Fact 3: 90 percent of failures are UNRELATED to brains and technical skills.
Fact 4: The cost of a bad hire is up to 2x the person’s annual salary and benefits… until you fire them or they leave. How much you lose depends on how awful they are and how much time, money, and productivity is flushed away in the meantime. Then… add another 2x to 2.5x their salary costs to replace them.
Fact 5: Turnover in any position costs you real money. Turnover of good people leaving because they don’t want to work with your bad hires, costs you even more.

Do I have your attention? This is not theory – it is fact. And yet… we hire most people and positions based on shiny new degrees and/or technical skills along with perceived or tested IQ. We now KNOW, for a fact, that EQ (Emotional Quotient/Intelligence) is far more important for success in most jobs, and definitely within leadership roles.

Still, we continue to hire and promote people, including leaders, largely for IQ and technical skill sets. “The best salesperson will surely be the best leader of other salespersons,” right? WRONG!

It just gets dumber and dumber. We keep getting the same lousy results and yet we have not substantively changed the hiring practices in most organizations. It is mind-boggling! I believe Albert Einstein had something clever to say about this phenomenon being related to insanity.

Whatever methods (legal and ethical of course) you use, you need to discover at least these SIX key things about your candidates BEFORE you hire.

A. Attitude: Is theirs one of abundance and can do, or scarcity and focused on obstacles?

B. Brains: Can they do the job or learn quickly how to do the job?

C. Character: What are their core personal values?

D. Drive: Are they self-motivated to achieve their goals and yours?

E. Experience: What have they done in the past that prepares them or makes them ready for what you want them to do now?

F. FIT: Will they truly FIT into your culture, your organizational values, help you accomplish your mission, and advance your vision?

If you said “NO” or “I Can’t Tell,” to even ONE of these questions about the candidate, do not hire that person. Seriously – don’t do it!

Trust the answers to your ABCDEF questions and trust your GUT. If the person doesn’t feel right to you or others, he/she probably isn’t right. In any case, it’s rarely, if ever, worth the risk to you and your team.


About the Author

Leadership authority Roxana (Roxi) Hewertson is a no-nonsense business veteran revered for her nuts-and-bolts, tell-it-like-it-is approach and practical, out-of-the-box insights that help both emerging and expert managers, executives and owners boost quantifiable job performance in various mission critical facets of business. Through AskRoxi.com, Roxi — “the Dear Abby of Leadership” — imparts invaluable free advice to managers and leaders at all levels, from the bullpen to the boardroom, to help them solve problems, become more effective and realize a higher measure of business and career success.


The StrategyDriven website was created to provide members of our community with insights to the actions that help create the shared vision, focus, and commitment needed to improve organizational alignment and accountability for the achievement of superior results. We look forward to answering your strategic planning and tactical business execution questions. Please email your questions to [email protected].