Checking references can be hard and time-consuming. However, as one of the leading staffing agencies in Spokane, Washington, Provisional knows that when you consider the negatives of hiring the wrong person, it’s certainly worth the effort.
Think about it this way. If you’re deciding between five candidates and get stellar remarks from reference sources for three, but vague or negative comments about the other two, your decision just got a whole lot easier.
And in fact, according to a CareerBuilder survey:
“69% of employers said that they have changed their minds about a candidate after consulting a reference, 47% have a less positive view of the candidate and 23% had a more positive view of the candidate; with just 31% saying the references didn’t make any difference.”
While going through the reference checking process isn’t always going to yield conclusive results, it’s pretty clear that it’s still well worth the effort. To help you in your quest to check references and hire the right candidate, here are some tips to keep in mind:
Get Specific With Your Questions.
When it comes to getting a good reference, it can be difficult thanks to legal and HR departments not allowing managers to offer more than basic information. But sometimes, if you ask the right question, you can get the insight you need into who a candidate really is. For instance, ask questions like “would you hire this person back?” If there’s a long pause, that could be an indication that the candidate didn’t leave on the best terms.
Also, be as specific as possible. Rather than asking about strengths and weaknesses in general terms, ask something like “I believe this candidate is overstating his experience with ABC software. He said he’s worked with it for the past five years at your company. Is that true?”
If an employee was truly extraordinary, then it will be hard for the reference source not to speak positively about them and the work they did. However, be wary of overly enthusiastic references that aren’t also able to offer specific examples to support their praise.
Don’t Forget the Basics.
While asking specific questions about each candidate’s skill set and experience is certainly the most effective way to get the information you want, don’t forget to ask about the basics – job titles, years with the company, and duties and responsibilities. Some candidates will exaggerate these essentials, leading you to wonder what else they’re not being truthful about.
Ready to Outsource the Reference Checking Process?
Or the whole hiring process for the matter? If you are, let Provisional know. As one of the leading staffing agencies in Spokane, Washington, we can handle the hiring process for you from start to finish – from sourcing candidates to interviewing and testing to checking references – all so you get one great hire. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you.