Key tips to hire responsible and trustworthy employees

  • 29-11-21
  • Richard Lloyd

It’s always been crucial to hire loyal and trustworthy employees, but now that so many companies are working remotely and managers can’t supervise their teams as closely, it’s become more important than ever. Here are 5 ways to ensure that your new hires are responsible and trustworthy - before you bring them on board. 

1. Monitor body language & facial expressions during interviews

It’s often said that 80% of communication is non-verbal. While this isn’t very accurate scientifically, there is some truth in it: people’s body language and movements do speak volumes, even if it’s not quite as much as urban legend would have it. 

As you interview your candidates in person or via video call, make sure to pay attention to how they physically respond to questions that might provide insight into their trustworthiness — are they able to maintain eye contact? Do they fidget or touch their face? Is there a long pause after you ask your question that could indicate they’re making something up on the spot? 

That said, don’t put too much weight on these signs alone. Many people are simply nervous during interviews, and you don’t want to pass up on a great candidate just because their nerves made them seem suspicious.​

2. Check what they've told you with references

The best way to judge someone’s trustworthiness is to actually test the truth value of their statements. Luckily, when you’re hiring someone, you have quite a few opportunities to do so when contacting their referees. 

During the interview, make sure to ask the candidate questions that you can later confirm with a reference check. For example, if you ask the interviewee why they left their last position, and they tell you they simply decided it was time to move on, you can then validate this information with their former employer to ensure they’re telling the truth. If the reasons for leaving don’t align, that’s a big red flag that you need to get to the bottom of. 

You may also want to ask questions like:

  • What constructive criticism did you receive in your last review?
  • How would your last manager describe you?​

3. Ask questions about honestly

Sometimes it can be best to be straightforward and directly ask candidates about situations in which their honesty and integrity were put to the test. 

For example, you might want to ask the candidate to describe a situation in which they felt being honest would be inappropriate. To gain some deeper insight into their reasoning, you can follow this up by asking them why they assumed that stance. 

Other questions you might want to ask are:

  • Tell me about a time when your integrity was challenged in the workplace. How did you react?
  • What does integrity mean to you in the workplace?
  • Describe a time that you made a mistake at work. How did you handle it?​

4. Get beyond the surface level

No matter what questions you ask, you don’t want to take the answers at face value. Instead, probe deeper with follow-up questions. 

“Why” and “how” will be your friends here: Why did you handle the situation in that way? How could you have done better? Why did you feel that was the right thing to do? The responses to these questions will give you greater insight into how the candidate actually thinks. ​

5. Ask relevant questions

Don’t focus your questions entirely on the past. Instead, make sure you ask questions that speak to the work the candidate will be doing once they’re hired as well. 

If you’re hiring for a flexible or ‘work-from-home’ position, you could ask questions like:

  • Can you describe a time that you were distracted while working from home? How did you handle that?
  • What would you do if you were working from home and a personal issue came up that required your attention for several hours?​

Key takeaways

As more and more jobs become remote, interview questions focused on loyalty and trustworthiness are becoming more important than ever. To help source more reliable candidates for your business, don't shy away from delving into this side of those you are considering employing. It may prove more valuable than you think.

If you would like assistance recruiting your next accounting team member, give one of the Richard Lloyd team members a call on (02) 8324 5640.