Checking References

April 9, 2012

Checking references of applicants is a critical step in the hiring process. The vast majority of hiring errors could be avoided by checking references, rather than relying on first impressions backed by resumes, applications and interviews. There are important aspects to remember when performing reference checks.

Get Permission
It is important to always get permission from your candidates to check references. This can be done either verbally or by signature on an application form.

How and What to Ask
There are laws and guidelines you must follow when conducting reference checks. Do not ask personal questions such as family details, race, religion, etc... Try to avoid asking questions that are a simple yes or no answer. It is often the extra little details that come out in an answer that can give a good indication of the candidates abilities. Red flags should go up if the reference has not been contacted in advance by the applicant to get permission to use them, if the reference seems hesitant to answer a question, or is very vague in their ability to answer.

Be sure to get a clear picture of why the candidate left their last job, or why they have gaps in their work history. If the reference is a past employer, ask if they would hire this candidate again.

Need Help with Your Reference Checks?
SELECT has experienced HR Professionals with the skills you need to conduct an effective recruitment, including performing reference and background checks. Avoid making a costly hiring mistake by ensuring you have a complete picture of what your candidate has to offer. Contact us today for a customized solution!