10 June 2022
Reference checking is an important step in the hiring process, as it provides valuable insight into a candidate's work history, skills, and overall fit for the role and company. However, many employers fail to maximize the value of reference checking, either skipping it altogether or conducting superficial checks.
First and foremost, it is crucial to include reference checking as a standard part of your hiring process. This means reaching out to past supervisors, colleagues, and even clients, to gather information about the candidate's performance, abilities, and character.
To maximize the value of reference checking, it is essential to ask specific and targeted questions. Instead of simply asking for a general recommendation, ask about the candidate's specific skills and experiences relevant to the role. For example, if the candidate is applying for a sales position, ask their former supervisor about their ability to meet sales targets and close deals.
Additionally, ask open-ended questions that encourage the reference to provide detailed, specific responses. This will give you a better sense of the candidate's performance and abilities, rather than just a general recommendation.
It is also important to verify the information provided by the candidate. Ask the reference about the candidate's job title, dates of employment, and responsibilities, to ensure that the information provided by the candidate is accurate. This can help to uncover any inconsistencies or gaps in the candidate's work history.
Furthermore, consider reaching out to multiple references to gather a well-rounded view of the candidate. This can include past supervisors, colleagues, and even clients. By contacting multiple people, you can gain insight into the candidate's performance in different settings and roles.
Another valuable tip is to ask the reference about the candidate's strengths and areas for improvement. This will give you a better sense of the candidate's potential fit for the role and the company, as well as any potential challenges they may face.
In conclusion, reference checking is a crucial step in the hiring process, as it provides valuable insight into a candidate's work history, skills, and overall fit for the role and company. By asking specific and targeted questions, verifying the information provided by the candidate, reaching out to multiple references, employers can maximize the value of reference checking and make more informed hiring decisions.
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