The Benefits of Reference Checking
reference checking

Reference checks are not carried out by organizations simply to comply with procedures. They are performed because employers want to hire individuals with outstanding track records in the workplace, proven reliability, and the right personal characteristics to fit into the team.

Reference checking is useful in narrowing down the final list of top candidates for key job positions. Recruiters and hiring managers invest the time to contact individuals’ previous bosses because they can learn key information about these candidates. Often times, these reference checks are the deciding factor on whether or not an individual is hired.

In some cases, when individuals’ previous work experience on resumes and cover letters appears overstated, reference checking can reveal the truth about an exaggerated history. Companies have the authority to ask previous employers almost anything once they are given permission to contact a potential employee’s references. The best approach is to avoid asking previous employers questions that will yield “yes” or “no” responses and make effective use of open-ended questions in order to get an idea of how an individual genuinely acted in the workplace.

Sometimes, previous employers are reluctant to disclose information to a recruiter regarding an individual and only indicate that that individual was once employed. This may be because supervisors don’t want to waste time on the phone regarding individuals who no longer work with their company. In other cases, former employers may be concerned about liability for their statements if a job candidate later feels the reference check cost him or her, a potential position.

Fortunately, there are ways to address these issues. Organizations that want reference checking done accurately and effectively can turn to HSD Metrics, which offers an automated reference checking system called ReferenceRight®. ReferenceRight is used by recruiters and hiring managers from industries of all kinds and performs the reference checking in written form: no phone call required! This easy-to-use online questionnaire improves the chances for instant feedback from previous supervisors and/or peers. Job candidates sign a liability release confirming that their previous employers can offer honest feedback. Previous employers are able to see this signed liability release before filling out the questionnaire, which increases their comfort level in providing honest feedback.

For more information about reference checking, the ReferenceRight program, or HSD Metrics, please contact us or call 877-439-9315.