Hiring Strategy

Are Checking References in the Interview Process Actually Important? – HR Affiliates Blog

A good HR partner would advise you to check a candidate’s references — a reliable one would advise you to thoroughly check all of them. These documents are a major step in deciphering between two applicants because they have a direct impact on the future success of a company. Hiring managers are experiencing a greater urgency to check every reference provided by candidate’s given that we are experiencing the lowest unemployment rate in years. The highest profiting businesses are flourishing because of their attention to what features candidates desire in contemporary workplaces. 

When seeking out a new job, hiring managers should not overlook a candidate’s most esteemed references. Employers should avoid proceeding in an interview if the applicant provides a mediocre resume — a “less than stellar” reference will make it harder for a job seeker to be considered for a position.

Recruit the Best by letting us Check Off the Complexities of Hiring

We focus on the employee life cycle, not because we have to, but because it’s the right thing to do. Over 25 years of professional experience has validated our belief that promising businesses begin with strong employees. HR Affiliates provides your organization with services regarding the employee life cycle, such as recruiting, hiring, as well as training new employees to increase compliance and employee engagement. Our system of recruiting includes checking candidate resumes, so you won’t have to worry about that. We’ll even organize a one-on-one with your hiring manager to learn more about your company culture to ensure you’re recruiting the most fitting applicants to your team. 

Trustworthy HR professionals believe references are crucial as they provide potential employers additional information on what they can expect if the applicant is hired. In conjunction with this, references reveal details about the candidate’s work ethic, habits, and traits from a supervisor with firsthand exposure.

Refer to Us for Your Referencing Needs 

By now I’m sure you’re wondering how many references you should collect. A good rule of thumb is to check three references. An applicant who provides less than three raises the question why they couldn’t find enough people to speak on their behalf, and listing more should raise a red flag on their capacity to commit to a company. Recent supervisors are the strongest references as they are able to give up-to-date information surrounding their performance. Speed up your process of eliminating inadequate candidates today — there’s more to it than just contemplating the number of references an applicant has provided. We’ve mastered the ins and outs, so we’ve gathered a list of questions that you should consider upon speaking with a candidate’s references: 

  1. Were their references prepared? The reference should be prepared as this reflects the initiative the candidate took to inform their contact. Often times they are not up to speed on their key projects and achievements, so it is up to the candidate to communicate with them. If the candidate hasn’t been in contact with their previous employer this indicates poor preparation.
  2. How informative was the reference? If they weren’t able to offer a sufficient amount of information regarding the candidates work habits, traits and position, this may raise some suspicion. This could signal that the candidate didn’t consider what we suggested in our first tip, or their reference simply wasn’t satisfied with their performance at the company.
  3. Were they able to answer more than just yes or no? If you didn’t get what you were hoping for out of the reference, consider whether or not you were fully engaged. Make sure to have questions prepared that lead to thorough, informative responses. 

Strong references are paramount to your success when seeking out five-star candidates. They can profit your business or do the contrary. Negative, neutral and “no comments” from an applicant’s references should repel you from continuing to pursue the candidate. Put the time and energy into making sure your new hires become an asset, not a liability. 

Amplify Your Hiring Process with an HR Partner

Your partners at HR Affiliates want your company to reap the benefits of our expertise. Experiencing the expansive demands of contemporary workplace changes, technological advances, and scoping out top candidates shouldn’t feel impossible. We work with the pace of your company’s needs to maximize your success — it begins with you and the people you’ve selected to be on your team. You won’t ever mistake another deficient candidate for a sufficient one, we’ve got your businesses back. Contact an HR consultant to make sure your hiring managers are onboard.


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