Candidates' competences - how to check them?


In the Polish legal system, the employer has limited possibilities of collecting and searching information about candidates for employment. Employers complain about the costs of hiring a person whose professional skills and resourcefulness differ from the information contained in the application documents. Can this be remedied? What documents can the employer demand from the candidate? How can the employer protect himself from hiring an incompetent employee and how far can he go by checking information about him? Read the article below and find out how you can check the competences of candidates!

What documents may an employer require prior to formal employment?

Catalog of data that an employer may require prior to employment, inter alia, to check the competences of candidates, see Art. 22 of the Labor Code and is limited to:

  • first name (s) and surname,
  • parents' names,
  • date of birth,
  • place of residence and (if any) correspondence address,
  • education,
  • the course of previous employment
  • additional authorizations and qualifications necessary to work in a given position
  • other data, if the obligation to submit them results from separate regulations (e.g. declarations of good conduct for candidates for public service).

Additionally, in accordance with Art. 22 § 3, the employer has the right to request the documentation of basic personal data by declaring the compliance of the data with the ID card. It is worth noting that the employer is not authorized to keep a copy of the employee's ID card in the personal files.

For the processing of data listed in art. art. 22 of the Labor Code the candidate's consent is not required.

So what documents can the employer demand from the candidate whom he decides to employ?

Information can be found in the already mentioned Art. 22 of the Labor Code, as well as in the regulation of the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy on the manner of keeping personal files.

Employer to check, among others competences of candidates, may require the employee to submit the following documents:

  • a completed personal questionnaire for a person applying for employment, in accordance with the template attached to the regulation of the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy on the manner of keeping personal files,
  • employment certificates from previous workplaces or other documents confirming periods of employment, covering periods of work falling in the calendar year in which the employee applies for employment (it is necessary to determine the amount of leave and some employee rights),
  • documents confirming the professional qualifications required to perform the job offered,
  • lower secondary school leaving certificate - in the case of a person applying for employment for the purpose of vocational preparation,
  • a medical certificate stating that there are no contraindications to work in a specific position,
  • other documents, if the obligation to submit them results from separate regulations (e.g. psycho-technical tests for candidates for professional drivers of passenger transport),
  • other personal data of the employee, as well as the names and dates of birth of the employee's children, if providing such data is necessary due to the employee's use of special rights provided for in the labor law,
  • PESEL number of the employee assigned by the Government Information Center of the Universal Electronic System for Population Registration (RCI PESEL).

The employer may require the employee to submit the originals of the above-mentioned documents only for inspection, and he only makes a copy or copy of the personal file.

Which data and documents does the candidate / employee provide voluntarily?

Well, the candidate provides voluntarily all data not listed in the statutory catalog, and the processing of which is not prohibited by the employer by law. The basic document that allows you to get to know the candidate's profile better are opinions and testimonials from previous jobs. However, they are not always a reliable source of information. In many companies, we can meet cases where the leaving employee creates an opinion about himself and the scope of his duties, and the boss only signs it.

It is worth recalling that contacting the candidate's previous employers without the consent of the candidate in order to collect opinions about his person constitutes (similarly providing such information) a violation of his personal rights, as well as of the provisions on the protection of personal data.

Candidate competences - what information you cannot ask for

When checking the competences of candidates, the employer cannot ask about marital status, parental plans, political views, religion, trade union membership, religions, philosophical views, racial origin, health, addictions, sex life, etc. The principle works both ways, because the candidate cannot ask about the above future boss.

What is important, according to the response of the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy of 9 March 2010, the employer has no right to demand or process biometric data from candidates or employees.

Methods of indirect obtaining information, i.e. what can be read from documents?

An invaluable source of information about candidates and employees are documents such as: school leaving certificate, employment certificates and personal questionnaire. Thanks to them, it is possible to legally obtain information, the obtaining of which is not allowed by the legislator.

On the basis of the school leaving certificate, the employer may indirectly deduce the religion or at least the attitude towards the Church, because the certificate specifies whether the person attended such classes and whether it was religion or ethics. After assessing the behavior, it is possible to deduce the level of socialization and, with high probability, the level of emotional intelligence. The certificate also lists special achievements, activity in various organizations, and grades in individual subjects indicate mental predispositions (science or humanities).

On the basis of the work certificates, one can obtain information whether the employee has regularly taken sick leave, unpaid leave, whether he has used the rights related to parenthood (whether he has children), whether bailiffs have been deducted from his salary, as well as the method of termination of the employment relationship with the previous one. employer. On the other hand, from the personal questionnaire, you can find out about a man's attitude to military service and find out the name, surname, address and telephone number of the person indicated as the contact person.

Assessment center and case study, or how to protect yourself against employing an incompetent person?

Nowadays, employers' awareness of incomplete information entered into the application is growing. Many companies, especially large enterprises and corporations, have found a way to legally and very effectively select candidates through a multidimensional process of assessing their competences.

An assessment center usually consists of a series of exercises performed in standardized conditions, during which candidates' competences needed to perform their professional duties at a given position are examined. Participants take part in numerous tasks and simulations, both group and individual, competency tests and interviews, and psychological tests. Case studies are a frequent element of AC, requiring candidates to analyze the presented situation (problem analysis) and make an appropriate decision. Not only is the candidate's solution assessed, but most of all - how he behaved during the test, how he reacted, how he searched for a solution, what was it based on and what the decision-making process looked like.

The above method is more and more often used during the promotion process in the internal structure of the company, especially to assess the competences of candidates or employees of the managerial staff.

It is the most effective method of accurately predicting a person's fit for a future job.