In today’s tech-focused job market, verifying a candidate’s skills is essential. Failing to validate a job seeker’s skills can lead to costly hiring mistakes.

While most hiring tools streamline the recruiting process, candidate skills validation still requires serious time and effort. Say a candidate exaggerates their ability for a software coding language and then buckles under the real requirements of the role. That would set your company back hundreds of hours and thousands spent on recruiting, hiring, and training.

What makes credential verification even more challenging is the crazy-variety of niche skills currently in demand. Companies are in search of web designers with Adobe talent, app developers with iOS experience, and social media curators with Instagram skills.

It would be impossible for HR and recruiting managers to stay up to date on all the hottest skills and credentials. We’re breaking down several ways hiring managers can confidently validate candidates’ skills.

Include Your Internal Subject Matter Experts

If you’re hiring for a technical role, the best way to gain confidence in a candidate’s skills is to have a technical expert be part of the interview process. If you’re interviewing for a software development role, include your lead software engineer in the conversation.

Encourage technical interviewers to ask questions that shed light on a candidate’s specific experience and mastery.

Consider asking interviewees to solve specific technical scenarios from start to finish with a whiteboard.

If you’re hiring for a strategic business role, include members of your organization with a strategic mindset. They will know the best questions to gauge a candidate’s business acumen.

Once interviews are completed, it’s vital to collect every interviewer’s impressions and scorecard. This can be time-consuming if you don’t have hiring tools with scorecard features.

Know the Signs of Dishonesty

We get it. Job interviews are stressful. Most interviewees are doing their absolute best to be forthcoming and impressive. However, sometimes candidates are dishonest about their experience and skills. Interviewers should be aware of the signs of dishonesty during interviews.

Vague answers with a lack of significant detail could be a sign that a candidate is fabricating their level of experience.

Tammy Cohen, founder and Chief Visionary Officer of background screening company InfoMart says body language can be a tell: “Constant fidgeting, darting eyes or complete avoidance of eye contact during important questions can mean an applicant is unsure of their answers.”

Your interview should not feel like an interrogation, but hiring teams should be on-guard for exaggeration that could lead to a hiring mistake.

Use Testing Services

Hiring managers don’t have to become experts in every role they’re hiring for. There are specific testing services designed to help validate a candidate’s skills and credentials. Companies like Prove It!, eSkill, and Brainbench are crucial supplements to your vetting process.

Skill testing services don’t just validate technical skills. There are a variety of assessments available to gauge a candidate’s skills. For example, eSkill offers leadership tests.

Another way to validate whether a candidate is the right fit for a role is to explore personality tests like Meyers-Briggs and DISC.

Personality tests shed valuable light into a person’s ability to solve problems, relate to coworkers, and manage pressure.

It could also be useful to know a candidate’s personality assessment results to see how they would fit into the company culture.

Check References The Right Way

Reference checking is sometimes seen as a small part of the hiring process. Even though it’s a classic part of recruiting, speaking to references is still the bedrock of smart hiring. When contacting references there are some key considerations to keep in mind.

First, you need to know the exact nature of the role the candidate is up for so you can describe the potential job duties to the reference. This will better equip the reference to speak to a candidate’s strengths and weaknesses in relation to the specific job tasks.

Next, you should enter the conversation with a positive outlook on the candidate. Assume the candidate has a solid track record and performance. If you begin the conversation on a tone of doubt, the reference may clam up and withhold information. The goal is to have an open, constructive conversation, so your initial attitude matters.

Finally, prepare a list of open-ended questions so the conversation flows naturally.

Open questions allow the opportunity for you to learn things about the job seeker you didn’t realize you needed to know.

Using hiring tools that have the reference-checking tasks built into the process will ensure this important piece of hiring doesn’t fall by the wayside.

Validate Thoroughly, Hire For The Long Haul

The job market is fast and furious these days, and candidate verification can become a major bottleneck for hiring. Failing to properly verify candidate skills and experience will only set you back even further. It’s tempting to cut corners during the candidate vetting process, but with these actionable tips, you can streamline confident hiring decisions.

Looking for More?

Looking to build a background check program at your organization that is not only simple but also compliant? Check out our free on-demand webinar with Curt Schwall, VP of Compliance and Regulatory Affairs at EBI.


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