Rumours have always been as much a part of the professional spaces, as they are of the idle personal spaces. Be it random, unnecessary rumours resulting from personal vendetta against a colleague that end up in reference checks, or unsubstantiated rumours about a new employee you are just about to recruit, rumours while hiring do pop up inconveniently. Even though you would really like to have the person on your team, based on your meetings and interviews with the potential candidate, the authenticity of the rumour would have the last word. While most of us, as experienced professionals would say that we would go ahead and recruit the candidate irrespective of what rumour we hear, because, well, it is just a rumour, actual studies have been conducted which prove quite the contrary. The odds of not employing a potential candidate based on a rumour against him/her are higher.
As professionals, we are all well aware of the importance of background checks before recruiting a candidate. With this one thing gone wrong, it could make all the difference, and for the worse. In the World of Work, it is a thumb rule to steer away from rumours and giving it flesh, at any cost. However, humans we are, and mistakes we shall make. Here are three basic principles, that will hopefully help you sift through the rumours while hiring when you are about to make a job offer to a potential candidate.
Focus on the positive
Don’t be penny wise pound foolish. If by believing the unsubstantiated rumour, which doesn’t even mean anything grave, you let go of a true asset to your organization, you should think twice. Weigh the potential of the candidate against the authenticity of the rumour and then take a call.
Remember the source
Always, always remember the source. The reason for the rumour could be purely out of petty personal vendetta and in such a case you do not want it affecting your professionalism. Verify the source and do the required research to determine whether or not the rumour could be true. Half your work is done if you know how reliable or unreliable the source you heard the rumour from, is.
Be thorough in doing your own background check
Do not be dependent purely on your team for doing all the background check. When you encounter roadblocks like these, spend some time on doing your own background check, especially if you are looking forward to hiring the potential candidate. Don’t just depend on internet searches for the background checks, they are seldom reliable, and are often noisy information platforms. Tap into your own sources and seek out dependable data.
Also remember that it could have been you in the other person’s place, and losing a job for no valid reason doesn’t make any one feel good. Besides, it is as much your organization’s loss, as it is the candidate’s. Probably a greater loss for you if the candidate was truly worth hiring, because he/she will anyway get a job elsewhere. Factor in all the consequences and a take a decision accordingly, never on a whim. In the World of Work, it is always professionalism over rumours.