Reference Checks

Guide

How to check a candidate’s references?

Job applicants list information on their resumes to stand out from the crowd, including educational qualifications and references. References are people that one can refer to who can vouch for the employees and give assurance that they can get the job done. In human resources, it is important to check candidates references to minimize risk for the company. What is the best way that a manager can do this?

Ask the right questions

To get the information that you need from references, you need to as the right job reference questions. These include the following: –

  1. What is your relationship to the candidate? With this question, you will be able to determine whether the reference and a job seeker have worked together in the past, and in what capacity. Understanding this makes it easier for the HR manager to evaluate the information shared by the referee.
  2. Are you able to confirm the candidate’s employment date, job title and work duties? Knowing the previous work experience of a candidate makes it easier for the manager to establish that they have the right qualification for the job at hand.
  3. Can you describe the candidate’s strengths and weaknesses? This ties in to determining whether a candidate can be trained to fit into the position that is available.
  4. How responsible was the candidate with their tasks? A referee should help give information about whether the employee is accountable for the work that they do. When asking this question, one can determine how they are under pressure and the best way that they deal with errors or mistakes. It also offers insight on whether the employee can see a task to completion.
  5. Why did the candidate leave? This is an important question, especially when it comes to determining how long a person was working in their previous posting. It also helps to establish whether the person was a good worker or not, and here a recruiter will be looking out for positive comments about the applicants working history.
  6. Ask about any criminal activity. Although this may seem uncomfortable, it is important to know whether the applicant engaged in any criminal activity in their previous position. This is a great way to judge their integrity and determine if they are a right fit for the organization and other employees.

When looking for answers from questions for employment references, you should ensure that you have at least two verbal reference checks. Many managers choose to confirm references using email, which offers detailed references. The challenge is, it is possible for one to give the wrong email address, and hearing a voice makes it easier to determine whether any of the information has been embellished.

Try Different Methods

Most HR managers will choose to call or a short email a potential referee when they are looking to confirm a reference. This can often lead to some generic answers, and these may lack detail. What these reveals is that the process may not have been approached with the seriousness that it deserves. With phone calls, it is important to request for at least ten minutes of time to ask all the relevant questions and record answers. Two minutes to confirm that the person was once employed will not cut it. There is another way that you can share reference check questions so that you can get comprehensive information that can positively lead to making a good decision.

One interesting method is a reference check letter, where you can ask a series of questions to past employers or references that will give an idea about the person who one has worked for. It also allows for sharing of opinions and advice on the best way to work with the applicant.

To answer the question when do employers check references, you need to be clear about the entire recruitment process. Often, references are checked once a candidate has made it to the final stages of the recruitment process and are being seriously considered for the job that is at hand. By getting in touch with the referees, a recruiter is seeking to reaffirm and confirm all the information that has been shared by the applicant.

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