When seeking a new care worker, what steps can you take to ensure that you hire someone suitable and trustworthy?
As part of the job application process, every applicant should either:
- Produce a recent Ministry of Justice or police check from an approved agency, or
- Give their permission for this process to take place.
Mycare completes the Ministry of Justice check on behalf of a worker. The NZ Police vetting service provides criminal history checks on potential and current employees or volunteers to approved agencies that care for children, older people and other vulnerable members of society in New Zealand. It also provides criminal history checks for overseas visas and work permits. New rules also mean people who work with children or vulnerable people must undergo a safety check.
It's a good idea to ask job applicants for at least two recent references, preferably from former supervisors, not friends or co-workers. Have a list of questionsyou may like to ask the referee that will help you build a picture of the candidate. For example:
- What is your relationship to the candidate?
- Can you confirm the candidate’s job title, dates of employment and work duties? Always verify the job title and dates of employment to be sure the information your potential carer has provided is accurate.
- What are the candidate's strength and weaknesses? This question can help you determine how easily the person can be trained and whether he or she is a good fit for the position.
- What was it like to work with the candidate? This can reveal the candidate’s personality, communication skills, how well he or she takes direction and if the person is a team player. It could also help you to determine whether they're a good cultural fit for the role.
- Can you describe the candidate’s work performance? It is always better to hear this explained directly from a referee, as this will help you ascertain how well this person might perform when working for you.
- Was the candidate dependable and what was their attendance record like? This will help you determine whether you can trust the candidate to show up for work and on time.
- Why did the candidate leave the position? This can be informative and help you gain insight into their personality traits, what could go wrong, or how long they might stay on at your job.
- Is there anything else I should know about this candidate? This is an opportunity for the referee to share any other information they feel is important.
- Would you rehire this candidate? This response and your evaluation of the other information provided by the reference will help you answer your most critical questions, "Can I trust this person? Are they suitable for this job?"
Making the right choice:
Working through this screening process will give you a good amount of information with which to decide whether a candidate is trustworthy and suitable for interviewing for the role. If you wish to proceed, arrange a face-to-face interview, then follow your gut feelings to make your final decision.
If your answer is yes: Have a meeting to discuss the agreement details, run through the job description and expectations again and go through your list of ‘house rules’, for example, expectations around mobile phone usage. If everything is accepted, you're both ready to sign the agreement you created at Mycare. Having a trial period is recommended as it will allow you to observe how they perform on the job and whether they fit in. If it doesn't go as you hoped, you then have the opportunity to change your mind.
If your answer is no: Promptly send a brief, polite message 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 should never be compromised.