Hiring: 5 Steps for Verifying Top Level Candidates

August 20, 2013


When hiring senior leaders for your company, the screening process must be tight and thorough.  Whether it’s finance, sales, or manufacturing, how you screen a candidate’s background is inherently different because with high-level positions comes a higher need for credibility and verification of experience. 

Not having a proper screening process in place for top level executives can put your company at risk of negative criticisms and ultimately reputation loss. Top ranking employees also have a greater effect on the company’s bottom line which could hurt profits if they don’t perform at the level expected.

Take a page from both Yahoo and RadioShack, two companies familiar with CEO resume scandals, and take the steps necessary to verify your top level executives.

A recent article, "5 Steps to Effectively Screen Top Level Executives", offers up some easy steps for ensuring you and your company are screening for those executives who may be including false information on their resumes.

Verify education

As was the case with both Yahoo and RadioShack, one of the things people tend to fib most on their resumes is their education. Finding out a member of your top level management faked their degree is embarrassing for not only them, but you too. It’s worthwhile to use a trusted third party to verify education claims including degrees, dates, classes, and any graduation honors.

Thoroughly follow up on references

As easy as it is for candidates to falsify on paper, they can also falsify their references so make certain they supply several. Verify by calling a phone number listed on the company website for the reference’s current or former employer rather than a personal number.

Ask the right questions

Be as specific as possible. Asking the right questions will allow you to see if the candidates actually possess the knowledge and skills they claim. Ask about specific duties handled, projects completed, goals attained, etc. Broad, vague questions aren’t as valuable.

Utilize assessment surveys

By reviewing an assessment survey, hiring managers can discern a top level executive’s inner core values and perceptions. This information is invaluable in determining a candidate’s fit into the company’s culture as well as their future potential. For more information, read our blog post Executive and Management Assessments in the Hiring Process.

Employ social media screening

Both recruiting and screening candidates via social media is becoming an increasingly popular practice. The online persona a candidate keeps on social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, and blogs can give a company insight that will not appear on any resume. Sometimes social media screenings reveal negative information about a candidate (poor judgment, drug use, revealing information from previous positions) while other times, well-written and interesting posts can also show that a candidate would have a positive impact on the workplace. Remember to do all this digging on your own, never ask for a candidate’s online passwords.

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