When seeking new workers, what steps can you take to ensure that you choose someone suitable, trustworthy and of good character?
These potential workers will be entering your home environment – your private haven. They will be hearing, seeing and dealing with a lot of your personal and confidential business, while also having access to many of your private spaces. You will need to be able to trust the people you hire. Because of the nature of the support worker role, you are making yourself or a loved one vulnerable. As with anyone faced with the task of selecting new workers, there are important steps you can take to ensure you make the best possible choices with the information you have at the time.
Vetting is the process of performing a background check on someone before making a decision and offering them a contract. Mycare requires all workers to complete a Ministry of Justice Criminal and Traffic History check as well as verifying their email address, physical address and phone number. When interviewing candidates, you can:
- Ask to see a copy of their Ministry of Justice check – learn more
- Ask them to supply a full criminal history check through the New Zealand Police if you are arranging support for a child or vulnerable adult – email us to find out how to do this.
It’s a good idea to ask potential workers for at least two recent references, preferably supervisors – not friends or co-workers. Have a list of 5-10 questions at the ready:
- What is your relationship to the candidate?
This gives you a bit more context on the information they to provide.
- Can you confirm their job title, dates of employment and work duties?
This is a good way to double check the information you have about a potential worker is accurate.
- What are their strengths and weaknesses?
Will it be easy for you to train them and are they a good fit for your job.
- What was it like to work with them?
This can reveal their personality, communication skills, how well they take direction.
- Can you describe their work performance?
Hearing it first-hand will help you to decide how well this person might perform when working with you.
- Why did they leave that position?
This might help you gain insight into their personality, what could go wrong, or how long they might stay on with you.
- Was the candidate on time and dependable and did they have many unplanned days off?
Are they trustworthy and can you rely on them?
- Is there anything else I should know about this person?
This covers off anything else that hasn’t been addressed in previous questions.
- Would you rehire them?
Find out why.
Remember to write down their answers so you can review the responses at a later point.
Making good choices
Following these steps will help you to assess whether a candidate is trustworthy and suitable for your role. Arrange to have a face-to-face interview. Then follow your gut feelings to make your final decision.
If your answer is NO Promptly send a brief, polite email to the candidate letting them know that they were not successful. Thank them for their time. Never feel pressured to accept someone you do not feel comfortable with. Your own safety and the safety of your property is a priority and this should never be compromised.
If your answer is YES Have a first meeting at your home where you discuss work details, run through the job description and expectations again, and go through your list of ‘house rules’, such as expectations around mobile phone usage etc. If everything is accepted, you can agree on when your new worker should start their role.