When seeking new care workers, what steps can you take to ensure you choose someone suitable, trustworthy and of good character?
These potential workers will be entering your home – your haven. They will be hearing, seeing and dealing with your personal and confidential business, and will have access to many of your private spaces, so you must be able to trust them. Hiring a support worker means making yourself or a loved one vulnerable, but there are steps you can take to ensure you make the best possible choice 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, and verify 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’re arranging support for a child or vulnerable adult – email us to find out how.
It’s a good idea to ask potential workers for contact details for at least two recent referees – preferably work supervisors, not friends or co-workers. Have a list of five to 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 that the information you’ve been given is accurate.
- What are their strengths and weaknesses? To help you assess if it will be easy for you to train them and whether they’re a good fit for your job
- What was it like to work with them? This may teach you more about their personality, communication skills and 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? To determine if they’re trustworthy and reliable.
- Is there anything else I should know about this person?
- Would you rehire them and why?
Remember to write down their answers so you can review the responses at a later stage
Making good choices
Following these steps will help you to assess whether a candidate is trustworthy and suitable for your role. You’ll also need to arrange to have face-to-face interviews with your potential workers – these could take place before or after you contact their referee(s), in a public space such as a local café. Then follow your gut feeling to make your final decision
If your answer is NO, promptly send a brief, polite email to the candidate letting them know that they weren’t successful. Thank them for their time. Never feel pressured to accept someone you don’t 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 to discuss the finer points of the role, run through the job description and your expectations again, and go over your list of house rules. If everything is acceptable to you both, make plans for your new worker to start their role.