- References can feel like a waste of time, but only if you treat them like the following item to cross off a list; it can be a genuinely helpful tool in your recruitment process.
- Checking a candidate’s references doesn’t guarantee that you’re hiring the perfect candidate. Still, it is a valuable tool for determining whether the information in the candidate’s resume and interview answers are consistent and accurate.
- It’s one of the best ways to establish if the candidate has the experience and temperament that you need for the job that you are filling.
Hiring a new employee is one of the most important decisions a manager can make, and with so many stages in this process of recruitment, steps like checking references sometimes fall to the wayside as it may seem like a tedious task.
In this week’s blog post, we look into reference checking and how skipping this step could be a mistake that no hiring manager wants to make.
Is checking references so important?
Most hiring managers are aware that reference checking is essential. However, due to busy schedules and perhaps trust in a candidates’ provided information, they often omit this task. Unfortunately, the cost of this negligence can sometimes be very high.
A survey from the Professional Background Screening Association in 2020 indicated that 83% of employees considered reference verification primarily for the safety of the organization’s employees and customers.
According to a study by ADP Screening and Selection Services, 44% of applicants lied about their work histories, 41% about their education, and 23% falsified credentials or licenses.
This inevitably led to repeating the recruitment process all over again and the loss of time, money, and effort towards the hiring process. Therefore, these statistics warn employers not to underestimate the value of reference checking in the recruitment process.
Top 5 Reasons to Perform Reference Checks in the Hiring Process
REASON 1: To protect both the employers and candidates
Providing hiring managers with verified data to make informed decisions about potential candidates will help counteract personal biases. Reference checks provide precise and verified data for hiring decisions, with detailed assessments of their job-relevant skills.
REASON 2: To know your applicant
Thorough reference checks that transcend employment verification will help employers know the candidate’s working style, performance, strengths, and qualifications. In addition, it will help the hiring team evaluate if the candidate is the right fit for the organization.
REASON 3: To prevent negligent hiring lawsuit
Negligent hiring refers to the employer’s failure to investigate an employee before hiring. An employer must employ carefully chosen candidates, especially for a workplace threatening the public.
REASON 4: To avoid potential losses
Whether or not it’s a negligent hiring case or simply hiring the wrong person, organizations will lose plenty if they do not do their due diligence. In addition, hiring the right candidate will also ensure a more favorable work environment and boost team morale.
REASON 5: To avoid bad publicity
Potential issues caused by hiring the wrong person may create a lasting impact on the organization. Your employees represent your organization. Companies need to hire the right people that they find worthy of your brand.
The past predicts the future…
This is the school of thought around reference checking. The reference checking process relies on the behavioral consistency principle, which states that past behavior is the most reliable predictor of future behavior, such as job performance.
When you have found your perfect job candidate and you’re ready to hire, it’s understandable that you’d be prepared to hire your job candidate and close the process as quickly as possible.
For some managers, this might mean making one short call to make a quick reference without going in-depth. For others, it might mean skipping the reference check altogether and going with their gut feeling.
But if you take a moment, it could be the perfect opportunity to see if references can back up what your candidate has been saying.The reference checking process relies on the behavioral consistency principle, which states that past behavior is the most reliable predictor of future behavior, such as job performance. Click To Tweet
A Cautionary Tale
There have been numerous stories from managers of candidates soaring high through interviews only to find out (and often too late at that point) that some key points were left out – some including that the candidate may have been involved in theft or perhaps only participated in a project instead of managing it as they may have stated in their application.
It’s also increasingly important to note that employers can be held responsible for negligent hiring if the employer knows, or should have known, that the candidate could or would create undue risk or harm to other employees.
Checking a candidate’s references doesn’t guarantee that you’re hiring the perfect candidate. Still, it is a valuable tool for determining whether the information in the candidate’s resume and interview answers are consistent and accurate.
It’s one of the best ways to establish if the candidate has the experience and temperament you need for the job you are filling.
References can feel like a waste of time, but only if you treat them like the following item to cross off a list; it can be a genuinely helpful tool in your recruitment process.Checking a candidate's references doesn’t guarantee that you’re hiring the perfect candidate. Still, it is a valuable tool for determining whether the information in the candidate’s resume and interview answers are consistent and… Click To Tweet
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5 Reasons Why Employment Reference Check is Important. (2021). Retrieved 8 August 2022, from https://us.springverify.com/blog/employment-reference-check/