Reference checks are a standard part of the hiring process at most companies. But if you review your candidate’s qualifications thoroughly, you might be wondering how much doing reference checks can add to what you already know.
Indeed, some hiring managers feel this way, and their reference checks show it – they are quick and cursory, intended more as a way of validating the manager’s own opinions about the candidate than anything else. But hiring managers are missing out on important information they could gain about job candidates by not doing these checks more thoroughly.
It is also important to know that doing a good reference check takes time. You can’t expect to simply ask a few quick questions and leave it at that. If something unforeseen pops up in the candidate’s background, you need to take the time to probe more deeply to get information.
You also need to withhold judgment when making reference checks. At this stage of the hiring process, you have already done a pretty thorough review of the applicant’s background, and the results have been good or the person would not have reached this point. So, naturally, you are well disposed toward the candidate. But you can’t let this get in the way of doing a thorough reference interview. The purpose of these calls is not just to confirm your good feelings about the candidate, but to find out more information about the person that will be used to make a hiring decision.
Finally, you should have a list of questions ready at hand when you call – the more specific, the better — and be prepared to take good notes on what you hear. These will come in handy when you need to compare different candidates.
Doing thorough reference checks will enable you to gain the information you need to find the person with the right fit for your organization.
Do you need help performing reference and background checks on candidates at your insurance company or in your department? Then contact the recruiters at Insurance Relief™. We can help you with the process, or take it completely from your to-do list. Contact us today.