We’ve addressed the topic of reference checks before in this blog, but from the point of view of the job seeker or job candidate. But what about employers?
What does your organization do when it comes to checking references? What is your philosophy and plan of attack?
There are different schools of thought regarding reference checks:
Some company officials don’t check any references because they believe it’s a waste of time. They’re of the opinion that the people with whom they’ll be speaking are more than likely the candidate’s friends. As a result, they believe the conversations won’t be productive.
On the other hand, some hiring managers ask for as many references as possible—five, 10, maybe even more. And they check those references.
Regardless of where you fall on the spectrum, the goal is to hire the best person for the job possible in the shortest amount of time. And reference checks play a role in achieving that goal.
So what is the key to effective reference checking? The key is preparation.
Specifically, it’s preparation in the form of knowing who you’re going to call, the questions you’re going to ask, what information you’re going to share with others in the hiring process, and any other circumstances that deal specifically with the reference check.
The first step in this preparation is knowing who you are going to call. Obviously, the candidate is going to provide you with a list of names, including contact information. And yes, the candidate submitted this list because they believe these people will speak highly about them.
If possible, though, you want to speak to somebody who is going to be unbiased and objective. Below is a list of some of the individuals who might provide a balanced assessment of your job candidate:
- Previous supervisors
- Mentors (if applicable)
- Colleagues (including subordinates, if appropriate)
While previous supervisors and mentors are valuable resources, they may not be on the list of references that the candidate provides to you. If that’s the case, then you’ll have to secure the candidate’s permission to call those people. Otherwise, you might be putting the candidate’s current job at risk, and if you do that, then you’re not going to endear yourself to the candidate.
Checking references is an integral part of the recruiting and hiring process and must not be overlooked. Proper preparation holds the key to conducting references and ensuring that you hire the best person possible for the job.
If you’re looking to hire exceptional candidates, then we invite you to connect with our team today and see what The Doepker Group can do for your organization.
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