TIP 1: A Reference Check Today Will Save You Trouble Tomorrow
Don’t take a written reference on face value. Anyone can produce a plausible but completely bogus written reference. Employment Screening Australia’s reference verification involves TWO or more verbal reference checks using the following methodology:
Ask for a landline rather than a mobile number. This way you know that you’re speaking with the office of the candidate’s previous employer and not just one of their friends or colleagues. This also ensures that the referees you are speaking to are still employed by the candidate’s previous employer.
Make sure you have the candidate’s permission to speak with the referee about them. This seems like a no brainer but there are times when a candidate will put down a previous employer hoping that you won’t call.
Confirm basic details such as the position title, the period they were employed and their level of experience.
Always ask open-ended questions, so the referee must elaborate, rather than simply answering yes or no.
Ask about the candidate’s reliability, punctuality, attendance record, sociability, attention to detail, time management skills, key strengths, possible areas where improvement could be made etc.
Ask the referee why the candidate left their employment. Document the referee’s responses for later comparison with the key selection criteria.
Use the adage ‘there is more in what is not said than in what is’. Listen carefully for what the referee doesn’t say about the candidate. This omission could be intentional, if it is an area where your candidate doesn’t excel.
Be aware that in cases where the candidate is still employed, the referee may give them a good reference just to be rid of them. This is where speaking with previous employers is an advantage.
Ask the referee if they would re-employ the candidate, given the opportunity. Their reaction and response to this question will reveal a lot.
There is no point going through the motions when it comes to reference checks. There is a lot of valuable information to be gained from doing reference checks if they are done properly. Using a professional screening service like Employment Screening Australia for reference checks can ensure the job goes to the right person. Find out more about our professional reference verification service.
Visit us next week when we talk about the benefits of researching a job candidate’s online presence.