A Reference Check: What Is It?

A reference check, which is a component of a thorough hiring procedure, is getting in touch with a job candidate’s prior supervisors, managers, coworkers, or teachers. It’s regarded as a kind of background investigation that aids employers in comprehending how a candidate performed in previous positions and obtaining information about their knowledge, aptitudes, and character.

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Verifying facts supplied on a candidate’s résumé or during the interview process can also be aided by reference checks. For instance: the duties and obligations they have previously performed, their level of ability, and the reasons for their termination from a prior job. Referencing is a vital component of talent acquisition and may assist you in making well-informed recruiting selections in a competitive hiring environment when you cannot afford to take a chance on an unsuitable candidate.

The Pros And Cons Of Reference Verification

Reference checks can yield useful information about a job prospect’s work history and soft skills, but their effectiveness may be constrained by things like the people the candidate chooses to include as references and obstacles to getting in touch with previous employers.

Let’s start with a few disadvantages: The findings of the background check may be skewed by candidates who only provide references from people who are likely to give them a good evaluation. Additionally, you might not be able to talk with the candidate’s present employer since they might not want to admit they’re looking for work. Occasionally, you might have to make an educated guess as to whether the viewpoint of a reference is pertinent to your employment circumstance.

Positively, reviewing references can help you gain a better grasp of a candidate’s skills, work style, and other aspects that might not come through in an interview. You can find any errors or exaggerations in employment applications by carrying out these checks. By assisting you in selecting the best candidate for the position, they may also help you reduce risk for your team during the hiring process.

What Takes Place When A Reference Is Checked?

When a hiring manager contacts the professional references that a job candidate has supplied, or when a background check company, the reference check procedure begins. This is often carried out following the evaluation of an applicant’s application and the completion of one or more interviews.

You’ll have the opportunity to ask reference check questions that will provide you with more detailed information about the candidate’s abilities, work style, and attitude if you establish contact with their references. Pre-employment reference checks can be done over the phone by certain businesses, while others may send out a printed form that can be electronically returned.

Inquiring about a candidate’s function in their prior employer, length of employment, reason for leaving, and how their qualifications relate to the position they’ve applied for are typical questions to ask when checking references. Make sure the questions you select will shed light on the candidate’s working style and suitability for your company.

Optimal Procedures For Performing A Reference Verification

Take into account the following reference check best practices for optimal outcomes:

Maintain consistency. It is imperative that your firm maintains documentation of and adherence to a uniform reference check procedure for all applicants to guarantee compliance with non-discriminatory employment regulations. In general, you may uphold fair hiring procedures by basing your decision on which questions to ask on the position you’re recruiting for or your company—rather than on your subjective opinions of specific prospects.

Pose open-ended inquiries. Asking open-ended questions might help you and the reference have a more in-depth discussion. Encourage further discussion by posing follow-up queries.

Make contact with several references. Don’t stop at talking to one reference; get in touch with a few to learn different perspectives on the applicant.

Make use of a reference checker. By collaborating with a company that specializes in carrying out impartial, targeted job reference checks, you may lessen the strain on your HR staff, expedite the recruiting process, and even cut expenses.