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Once seen as a simple formality, candidate reference checks have taken on a much larger role in recent years, as businesses spend more time and effort on making sure they hire the right talent. Did you know that 20 percent of job applicants are knocked out of consideration based on information obtained during these checks? So, think twice before disregarding them as a key step in your recruitment process.

Why Conduct Reference Checks

Reference checks help you ensure a candidate has been honest on their resume and application and during their interviews. When you narrow the field to a few potential hires, this check often becomes the deciding factor.

  • Some reference check questions are purely factual. Responses enable you to confirm such information as employment dates and degrees and salaries earned. Other questions can help you get a better feel for an individual’s personal qualities and work-performance record.
  • Be a skeptic. CVs can – and often are – embellished. It’s possible to become a “master interviewee” who winds up failing miserably once hired. So, use reference checks to avoid costly hiring mistakes.

When to Conduct Reference Checks

Before making an offer, carry out two verbal reference checks on a candidate. If one is positive and the other is mediocre or even negative, conduct a third check to iron out any disparities.

Questions to Ask

No matter how amazing an applicant may seem on paper or even in person, don’t let the reference check step of your hiring process slip through the cracks. Here are some important questions to ask:

  • When did (name) work for your company?
  • Why did they leave?
  • What was their starting and ending salary?
  • May I briefly review (name’s) resume with you? Do the job titles and descriptions listed match the position they held?
  • What were (name’s) strengths and weaknesses as an employee?
  • How did (name) support coworkers?
  • How did (name) handle conflict? Stress?
  • Did (name) miss a lot of work? Was (he/she) frequently late? Are there any issues you’re aware of that negatively impacted their performance?
  • What was (name’s) biggest accomplishment while working for your company?
  • Would you rehire (name) if the opportunity arose?
  • Is there anything I haven’t asked that you would like to share with me?

You can’t afford to make the wrong hire. But you may feel overwhelmed by all the steps involved in getting it right. From sourcing the best talent to completing all the legwork involved, making final selections and negotiating compensation packages, PrideStaff Modesto can be your go-to resource for hiring success. Contact us today to discuss your customized talent management plan.

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