Working with dishonest people can cost your business a lot of money, not to mention time. Picture two scenarios: on one hand, you have a manager who put together a team of honest and self-starting employees, who don't need to be constantly supervised. As a result, this manager can focus on more important tasks. 

On the other hand, you have a manager who doesn't trust his team, who spends most of his time making sure that the employees are doing their job and are not stealing from the company. Obviously enough, the second situation is very bad for business. Dishonest employees can keep a business down, but they can also affect a brand's reputation and cause serious losses. 

You can avoid working with dishonest people by putting them through a thorough screening process before hiring them. Background checks teaches us how to learn valuable information from a background check, and we will proceed to discuss a few tricks that will help you weed out dishonest candidates.  

Prioritize honesty over skills

It would be great if you had a wide pool of candidates to choose from, all with the right skills for the job and an honest character. However, this is rarely the case, and if you must ever choose between character and skills, the character should always come first. Keep in mind that you can always teach someone new skills, but you can't teach them integrity. You can also highlight the importance of integrity in your company, by posting the company values in the job description. 

Do a background check

Checking someone's past can give you a glimpse of their character, as you can easily find out if their past is sullied with dishonest behavior. There are several types of background checks that you can perform:

  • Criminal record: Arrests, court records, felony convictions, sex offenses, warrants and incarceration records are just a few of the many types of information that you can discover when checking someone's criminal records. 

  • Employment and education verification: Don't be wowed about a candidate's job experience before you make a few phone calls and verify that their previous job experience is indeed valid. 

  • Credit reports: This information can only be viewed if you have a person's permission. However, if you plan on hiring someone for a job with a huge financial responsibility, it doesn't hurt to ask for their credit reports. After all, if they don't have anything to hide, it shouldn't be a problem for them to show their credit reports. 

  • Other types of verification: If you want to dig even deeper into a person's past or personal life, there are several types of verification that you can use. You can check their social security number to make sure that they are indeed US citizens, you can check for driving records, and you can even do a little social media stalking

Don't worry if a background check seems like too much trouble. There are several online platforms that specialize in these services. You can try BeenVerified, TruthFinder or People Looker. 

Learn how to spot lies in a resume

While there is nothing wrong with embellishing a resume and presenting oneself in the best possible light, lying in a resume is wrong, and it will be discovered at one point or another. As an employer, when checking a resume, keep an eye out for unemployment gaps, skills that don't match past positions, inconsistent employment dates and nonspecific descriptions of part jobs. These are the common red flags that usually indicate that someone is lying in their resume. 

Ask the right questions in an interview

To spot a liar, start with some simple questions and ask for details. For example, ask a candidate if they saw your website and then ask them some specific questions about the website. You can also try putting together an integrity test with hypothetical situations that would test a person's character. You should also pay attention to a candidate's non-verbal communication. Liars have a way of revealing themselves through nervous behavior, lack of eye contact, a weak handshake and so on. Needless to say, if a person talks badly about past employees or colleagues, or if they are reluctant to provide references, you should definitely become suspicious. 

Check references

As we already mentioned, you should always verify a candidate's work experience, but you should dig deeper into their professional past by checking their references. Most people will use references from people with whom they got along well, but if someone is lying about their job experience, they will also give false references which can be easily verified. The people listed as references should be able to answer a few simple questions regarding their work relationship with the job applicant, their work responsibilities as well as the applicant's reason for leaving. You should double-check this information with the applicant to make sure that they are telling the truth.