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The Importance of Reference Checking

12 Aug 14:00 by Vanessa Dolan

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Reference checks allow a potential employer to get independent insights about a candidate's previous on-the-job performance. It verifies the information provided by the candidate on their resume and during the interview. 

I hear a lot that reference checks do not get done because the candidate came across as so great in the interview and they provided written references (which were of course flawless). But a verbal references check is such an important step.

If you’re doing your recruitment on top of your usual job, I can understand the temptation to save time and skip this part. Please don’t - If you neglect this crucial step, you could be opening yourself up to a whole world of pain - like going through the whole recruitment process again, or even just finding out a few weeks after you’ve hired someone and they exaggerated about their skills or experience. If you're hiring right now, do yourself a huge favour and invest the time in a proper reference checking process. 

It’s important to speak to the right person for a reference check. It should be the person the candidate reported directly to. Many times I get details of referee’s that work alongside the candidate, and that in itself raises red flags.

Some important questions to ask could include:

How well did the candidate get along with the team? Were there any clashes of personality and if so, in what way?

What buttons does a manager need to push in order to get the best work from this candidate? 

What buttons does a manager need to push in order to get the best work from this candidate? 

Invest the time upfront to set your reference check and then it will only take you around 10 - 15 minutes for each check over the phone.

If you’re not sure where to start or want some further guidance drop me an email and I’ll happily send you the reference check template we use here at Creative Recruiters