You’ve found the right candidate for your medical practice – What next?

Now that you have found the right person to hire for your physician medical practice, let’s consider what you should check.  What you are seeking is the “undisclosed job” that the applicant wants to conceal.  This job can be hidden either by covering it with non-employment (“home with children”, “travelling through Europe” etc.), or by “stretching” the dates of other employment to cover what they want to hide.

If an applicant claims a lot of time out of the work force, request a copy of their tax return and assessment from the IRS.  Like any document, a tax return could be forged, but the nature of this form makes the forgery a lot of work, so most applicants trying to hide something will simply move on to another victim.

My other suggestion is to ask each former employer (and you should normally contact all employers from at least the last five years) a few strategic questions.

    • Get them to provide exact dates of employment.    Don’t prompt them with the dates in the resume and ask for verification; human nature may result in them agreeing without verifying
    • Verify job title and responsibilities
    • Ask who the previous and subsequent employers were (most former employers know this)
    • If the applicant claims to be currently working for that employer, confirm this with the employer.  People who have been fired tend to conceal this fact from you
    • Finally, ask each former employer a very specific question, “if this person were available and if you had a suitable opening, would you rehire them?The attractiveness of this question is that, while former employers are often cautioned by attorneys to avoid derogatory statements, most will find this question, which simply asks about future intent and not about specific actions or characteristics, to be a “safe” question to answer.  And a single word answer, like “no” (or anything short of an enthusiastic “yes”), shouts volumes about the applicant.

Compare all answers to the resume, and reject any applicant where dates or job history do not line up exactly with the information you determined independently.

While there is no foolproof means of identifying resume cover-ups, the simple techniques outlined here give you an excellent chance of spotting situations when resumes have been “doctored”.  Also, while the focus of this article is on finding criminal activity, techniques shown here will also help uncover “resume embellishment”, which is a definite concern– published studies suggest that over 60% of resumes contain some form of lying.  Also, 65 million Americans (1 in 4 adults) have criminal records.

Have questions? I’m here to help.

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