Conducting reference checks should be a non-negotiable step incorporated into every organisations hiring process. It is far too costly for an organisation to allow for a zombie to slip through the cracks, as a result of ignoring the benefits associated with reference checks.
From my own experience I can tell you everything isn’t always as it appears. Despite a candidate looking perfect on paper and in person during the interview stage, there is still value to be derived through independent information only obtainable through reference checks.
Reference checks are a unique opportunity to validate information in regard to a positions key criterion, ensuring a candidate’s perfect fit for a role is in fact reality. It is also an opportune time to clarify any grey areas uncovered during the hiring process. For example, ensuring transparency in regard to a candidate’s reason for leaving a former employer, as well as the length of time a position was held.
One thing all organisation leaders have in common is the desire to attract and retain the highest quality talent. If you are serious about providing this as a hiring manager or recruiter, it is vital you conduct three reference checks per hire.
That may sound like complete and utter nonsense but I assure you, this general rule of thumb is a goldmine. Developing a 360-degree perspective of a candidate can by achieved by conducting a lateral, upper and lower reference check. Based on this notion we are more capable of making informed hiring decisions.
In no way is this process an attempt to scrape up dirt on candidates, it is solely about matching a commitment made to clients and senior management and ensuring diligence. If you aren’t currently conducting thoughtful and attentive reference checks, I hope we have persuaded you on their importance.
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