Are you hiring extra help this holiday season? Whether you’re the owner of a small business or just a busy professional looking for some extra help with the housework or the kids, we know you want people you can trust. A criminal background check will rule out any past history of illegal activity, but how can you really be sure? Here are a few signs to watch out for.

Check Their References

Even though you’re pressed for time, it’s important to take a few minutes to contact the people your potential employee has listed as references. These should be professional references, so if the first person on the list turns out to be the candidate’s mother, that should send up a red flag. These should also be recent – it doesn’t help you to speak to someone your applicant worked for ten years ago.

Look Out for Inconsistencies

The job market is competitive right now; many people “talk up” their past experience and qualifications in the hope that it will make them seem more desirable. While a little exaggeration is to be expected, be wary of hiring someone whose resume does not line up with their answers to interview questions or is at odds with the information provided by their references. If he or she gives evasive answers, or changes his or her story, that’s a valid reason for concern. Honesty is an important quality in an employee, especially if they will be handling money or given access to sensitive information.

Go with Your Gut

Your own instincts are usually a good guide to character. If a potential employee seems especially anxious during the interview, ask them directly why they are uncomfortable. Give them the chance to assuage your concerns, and keep in mind that the interview process can be nerve wracking. Pay attention to body language, particularly any changes that accompany their answers to specific questions. Most people give off unconscious signs when they are lying or trying to hide something. Continue to ask direct questions in a non-accusatory manner; if something still seems off, it’s probably best not to hire them.

If you need more help screening potential employees, feel free to contact Holliday Investigative Services. We can provide discreet evaluations of your applicants’ backgrounds, so you can rest assured that you’re hiring the right person.