How to Find Information on Potential Hires & Contractors Before You Commit

When you’re shopping around for a new employee or vendor, it’s challenging to assess whether or not someone will mesh well with yourself and your current staff. Fortunately, today’s technology provides numerous information platforms for finding any information you may need. No longer do you have to study a resume or “about us” vendor page. By knowing where to look, you can learn more information about a company or individual than you might expect.

Stalking

  1. Pursue or approach stealthily.
  2. Harass or persecute (someone) with unwanted and obsessive attention.

Call me crazy, but I find a little harmless stalking necessary every once in a while. Before you assume that I’m a total creeper – let’s define the type of stalking (or what I like to call ‘research’) that can be considered somewhat normal by modern society’s standards.

Prospective Client Research

A little snooping is going to do you some good before jumping on your first call with a prospective. You will want to ask questions with you and your team before you divulge into a relationship with this company.

  • What does their company do? Goals? Missions?
  • What are their needs?
  • Can you fulfill these needs realistically?
  • What are their current vendors slacking on?
  • How can you be their “hero”?

Current Client Research

Along the same concept of the prospective clients, you’re going to want to ask questions regarding your current client to maintain your checks and balances.

  • What are they saying about you?
  • What can you do to improve?
  • Where are the highest demands?

And maybe get a little personal with the individual you work closest with to score some extra service brownie points.

  • When is their birthday?
  • What are their hobbies?
  • How long have they been with the company?

Prospective Employee Research

At CopyPress, culture is a key factor in our everyday happiness. Therefore, as someone is constantly bringing on contractors and new staff members…a little stalking is definitely necessary. Think about it, do you want your new hire to have a profile picture of them holding a gun? Kind of shady. Or do want the candidate to blast on their social media profiles about how lazy they are and how much they hate working. Kind of a bad sign.

I think it’s important to bring on team members that are passionate about what they do, motivated for success, well-educated and good spirited. Now, it might be hard to see exactly how passionate and motivated until they get into the nitty gritty but doing a little research into their education background, work history and personal life will definitely give you a good feel for the kind of person they are. And if there is still an evident mystery behind the candidate, ask them in interview about themselves and have them hang out with the rest of the team to see how they fit.

With contractors, it’s pretty difficult to have them come hang out with the team as they may be in a different state or country. However, it’s just as important to find out a good amount of information on the contractors before any work is provided. Testing, skype calls and trial runs are great ways to really get a feel for the person and their work ethic. At CopyPress, we have an extensive free training and certification program that contractors are required to go through. Whether it’s design work, writing or content placement we make sure our external team members are trained and ready to rock it.

The good finds:

  • Highly motivated
  • Great attitude
  • Fun hobbies/activities
  • Educated
  • Professional

The oh-no’s:

  • Poor attitude
  • Immature
  • Inappropriate behavior
  • Signs of a slacker

Current Employees

I think it’s also to check in often with your current employees, how are they doing with their workload? Do they hate working for you? What can be improved? What do they think of the company?

If you find the answer to these questions are negative, then something’s got to give. Is this the best relationship for you? For your employee? Is it salvageable or is it time to move on? Keeping employees on your team that are impassionate and despise their everyday work life is only going to bring your other team members down and your productivity and quality will inevitably suffer.

Influential Blogger Research

In the Internet marketing world, it’s always a good idea to get on influential, key industry players’ radars. What better way to do this than a little stalking, eh?

Say you’re trying to get Bob Bobby to follow you or retweet an article. The chances of Bob Bobby doing this by you asking them to do is extremely rare. You have to do something special to get his attention. Find out what Bob’s passions are—is he an extreme adventurist? Start sharing some really cool articles targeted for adventurists with Bob on twitter, or start up a conversation with him about your latest bungee jumping experience and how you would die to go again. With a little investigation into Bob’s personal life, you’ll develop a budding relationship. After you’ve become buds, maybe this is a good time to pass along your content for him to share. I bet Bob is going to feel a lot better about doing this now rather than before when he didn’t know who you were or cared to find out.

What do you look for in a new hire? How do you personally assess if the relationship will last?

About the author

Ryan

Ryan graduated from the University of South Florida with a Bachelor's in Business Marketing in 2010. She has worked at CopyPress since September 2010 and has had many roles which include: Community Manager, Marketing Manager, Connections Manager and presently the Client Manager. Ryan lives in Tampa, Florida with her Fiance, David and her crazy Shiba Inu pup, Brew.