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The Importance of Checking References

Checking references is a vital part of the hiring process. While a candidate may look very good on paper, as most people will do what they can to highlight their positive qualities and make their resumes stand out, it is important to validate the information they provide. In fact, one of the only ways an employer often has of verifying the employment history, experience and skills listed on a resume is through a reference check.

Failing to conduct reference checks could mean you and your company end up with employees who are unable to do the jobs they've been assigned, or who perform poorly, despite their ability to gloss through their initial interview.

How References Can Help Make Sure You're Getting a Good Candidate

Employers who want to make sure they are getting a good candidate should, at the very least:

  • Contact one reference towards the beginning of the recruitment process, so they know if they want to continue.
  • Follow up with a second reference prior to making an offer.
  • Contacting a third reference, if either of the two prior references brought into question the individual's work ethic or experience.

Be wary of fake referees. Sometimes people will list co-workers as previous employers to ensure they get a better review. Asking what the referee's relationship was with the candidate will help eliminate this problem.

Types of Questions to Ask During a Reference Check

Knowing the right questions to ask during a reference check can determine whether you will learn anything about the applicant or simply have the wool pulled over your eyes. Consider each reference check as an opportunity to uncover the real story about the individual you are looking at hiring. Is this person reliable? What is his or her behavior like in the workplace? Does he or she have strong communication abilities? How are his or her decision-making skills? How does the person deal with time management?

In addition to gathering basic information to confirm dates of employment, duties performed, on-the-job performance and responsibilities held, you may also want to consider asking questions like:

  • What are the applicant's strengths and weaknesses?
  • Could the individual be held responsible for completing projects and meeting deadlines without extensive intervention?
  • How did the individual react after making a mistake?
  • What types of obstacles did the individual face on the job? What did he or she do to overcome these obstacles?
  • How does he or she operate as part of a team?
  • What was it like working with the person?
  • Why did he or she leave?
  • Would you work with the individual again if given the opportunity?
  • Is there anything else I should know about this person?

Keep in mind you want to elicit honest answers to your questions. Do not put words in the person's mouth as while this may give you a glowing review of the candidate, it could cover up more serious issues which should have been revealed during the reference check.

Streamline the Hiring Process

The People Link is a professional recruitment service which specializes in finding and placing qualified healthcare candidates in positions throughout the U.S. If you are looking for top-of-the-line individuals to fill vacant positions, simply let us know what you are looking for and we can help you find it. We conduct interviews prior to sending you applicants, and help gather references on your behalf. To find out more about the services we offer, please visit our website or call Mya at 818-890-9998 for a free, no-obligation consultation.

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