Automated Reference Checks Insights
automated reference check

For many in-house HR departments, checking references can be a task that requires more time than they have in the day, with all of their other responsibilities. Most traditional routines yield vague answers, waste resources, and fail to collect any actionable long-term data. When you are searching for new talent to fill open positions at your company, references can give you important insight into the candidate’s personality, work ethic, and drive. If you see references as a golden opportunity rather than a chore, here’s why automated reference checks will appeal to you.


If you rely on a traditional reference process, you have to find a balance between the benefit of gathering more reference-related information and the cost of time spent calling people. Reference calls that aren’t optimized waste time – so much so that especially discouraged hiring managers eschew the calls altogether. Automation puts the onus on the applicant. The applicant triggers each event, so you can specify as many events as you want. An advanced reference checking service provider will help you tweak your process for a manageable volume of data.


How many times have you heard a response like this: “Well… she did everything we asked her to do adequately while she worked for us…” In this type of situation, far more is being said in between the lines than in the answer itself. But what? The reason for hesitancy in such an answer could be harmless or disastrous, so even a little more detail could make all the difference. Surveys conducted online predictably produce more frank responses.


When reference checks are administered by your staff, especially more than one staff member, the data falls well short of consistent. The manner in which staff members ask questions can affect answers quite a bit more than you might expect. For example, how might you answer: “Describe an area you think the applicant could improve” versus “Is there an area in which you think the applicant could improve?” Automated surveys with flexible response systems effortlessly avoid inconsistency pitfalls. The result is qualitative and quantitative data that is obtained as objectively as possible.


As you select candidates and accrue data, you’ll learn more and more about what attributes make your employees successful. The data you collect with automated reference checks to benefit not only your evaluation for the opening at hand but also every subsequent hiring. Scoring and benchmarking candidates can help to develop a cohesive culture at both large and small companies for years to come.

Advantages of Automated Reference Checks

A few years ago, Forbes interviewed Donna Wells, the president and CEO of When asked about key mistakes she has made in her career, Wells replied, “The biggest mistakes I’ve made are in hiring and firing. A bad hire is not just a drain on your time and productivity, but demotivating to your best performers.”

She’s absolutely right. Yet spotting a bad hire before the mistake is made can be a challenge. Here are some advantages of using automated reference checks.

1.  Automated reference checks go beyond the selective list that job candidates typically provide.

In order to get a well-rounded view of an applicant, your HR department needs feedback from a broad range of people. This comprehensive perspective helps you understand how an applicant may interact with people at varying levels, both inside and outside of your organization.  With ReferenceRight, you can stipulate reference contact requirements to include prior supervisors, peers, and subordinates to help you better anticipate how an applicant will fit in with your existing employees.

2. Automated reference checks are more time- and cost-efficient.

Instead of playing “phone tag” with prospective references – followed by labor-intensive phone interviews – you use a web-based tool to identify your desired questions and specific reference contact requirements. Once you enter a candidate’s information into ReferenceRight, the entire process is handled automatically via email. Responses are available via an online interface, ensuring that you have access to the information you need, whenever you need it.

3. Using automated reference checks reduces risk.

In addition to submitting the requested contact information, your candidate signs a liability release. This ensures that previous employers feel secure in offering honest feedback. The measurement questions include a mix of scale-based ratings and open-ended questions. Armed with these deeper, more candid insights into an applicant’s past performance and personality, you are better positioned to make hiring decisions that you won’t regret down the road.

Our Automated Reference Checks Outcomes

Sound like this process might be a good fit for your company? Here are the outcomes you can expect by using ReferenceRight®. With the help of HSD Metrics and our ReferenceRight automated employee reference check services, in-house HR departments and companies can rest assured that each candidate’s references are contacted to ensure qualifications, reliability, and their ability to perform the necessary tasks of the position.

Quick Turnaround

We understand that the hiring process can be stressful. However, it is important that each candidate’s references are contacted in a timely manner. With ReferenceRight, reference checking time can be decreased by over 90 percent. Each candidate’s references will be contacted within 1-2 days and will be asked the necessary questions to help you learn more about your candidates before you make an offer.

Improved Reference Quality

By investing in automated reference checking services, your company can improve the quality of your reference checking in general. If you are working with an outside provider, candidates are more likely to provide accurate contact information for their references. Once we contact the references, they provide relevant feedback and the information and reports can be accessed instantly.

Ease of Use

When you are looking for an automated reference checking service, it is important that you invest in a service that is easy to use. ReferenceRight® requires no licensing or software purchases and only needs minimal training to operate. With ReferenceRight®, companies can instantly access the reference feedback provided by each candidate’s references.

Contact HSD Metrics to learn more about our ReferenceRight automated employee reference check services and how they can help your company make the search process faster, better, and easier.