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  Oracle Tips by Burleson

Screen Job Applicants

Selecting employees for hire in the first place who have values and good educational and work experiences will benefit the employer throughout the term of employment. Bringing employees onboard who have good character, are honest, treat others with respect, respect authority, and abide by policies and procedures will reduce the number of incidents that lead to employment termination.

In addition, it follows that the prevalence of wrongful discharge lawsuits against the employer would also be lessened. It is common for legal action to be taken against the employer for negligent hiring following an incident of workplace violence. The lawsuit would specifically attempt to prove that the employer failed to properly screen applicants, which resulted in an individual being hired that is judged to have had a history of violent and criminal acts.

Most company inquiries to previous employers about applicants are performed using the telephone, even though a large number of employers will not respond by that method. It might be useful to make such requests by mail as a follow-up to any phone conversations that do not provide the requested information. The employer should, in any case, go through the effort of thoroughly performing background checks on all job applicants under consideration for employment including:

Verifying educational degrees and grades, prior (and possibly current) employment, and certifications earned.

Obtain character and business references. References that are too brief and without specifics may be hiding something or it may be that the company has a very restrictive policy concerning the information they can provide in response to reference inquiries. Many companies do this to protect themselves from lawsuits. One of the best methods for getting a real-life and accurate assessment of an individual is to ask former or current colleagues of the applicant for their opinion of the individual. Employers should be networked with IT professionals in the area who can be drawn upon for such information. The information that they will provide is absolutely invaluable in making a hiring decision.

  • Request that copies of certification documents be sent to the employer.

  • For entry-level IT positions, request that school transcripts be sent directly to the employer.

  • Contact former employers to ensure the applicant was indeed under their employment and held the positions claimed for the periods of time indicated on his or her resume. 

  • Be wary of several short employment stints by the applicant or gaps in employment with previous employers, even if they were previously employed as a contractor.

  • Allow the applicant adequate time to speak for themselves during job interviews, and require more than one interview with a combination of management and peers.

  • Minimize the number of questions with yes and no answers to allow the applicant to expose their knowledge.

  • Organize the questioning by stating a situation of interest, asking for the actions taken by the applicant, and learning the results obtained.

  • Inquire as to whether the applicant has had any criminal convictions.

The above book excerpt is from:

You're Fired! Firing Computer Professionals

The IT manager Guide for Terminating "With Cause"

ISBN 0-9744486-4-8

Robert Papaj


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