How to perform effectual reference checks

Hiring the wrong person can be detrimental to the employer and sometimes may hurt the company financially. Once you hire a wrong person, eventually there arises a need to fire him/her. So, how to achieve a near-zero firing rate? The answer is by performing effective reference checks.

There is no doubt that there are several different ways to assess potential hires, but reference checks are by far the most crucial step in making a hiring decision such that you don’t hire someone who you’ll soon want to fire.

You should know what questions to ask to get the specific information necessary for the applied job position. Here is a list of questions that might be helpful to you while performing reference checks:

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How was the candidate associated with you?

This question will inform the employer about when, where and whether or not the job seeker and the reference have ever worked together and the kind of association between them. A reference can be a former boss or a co-worker and this question will help the hiring managers to gauge the information that is furnished by the referee.

Can you verify the candidate’s job responsibilities, job title, duration of employment, and salary package?

This question will confirm that the information provided by the candidate is authentic and it will let the employer know about how well the reference knew the candidate. If the reference is not sure about candidate’s information such as his term of employment or his job responsibilities in the organization, a red flag should go up.

Can you mention some of the strengths and weaknesses of this candidate?

This question enables the hiring managers to know if the candidate requires any specific training for his new job role and whether the candidate will be an organizational fit. It might also reveal if the candidate is suitable for a specific job role or not.

What was his or her reason for leaving your organization?

This question reveals much about the candidate and it will also help the employers to get an insight into how stable the candidate is and how long he/she will stick to the new job if hired. It is a red flag if the reason provided by the reference and the candidate are completely different.

Not taking into account the company policies, would you rehire this candidate?

This question can sum up the entire conversation and which is why this question should be asked at the end. If you want to ask a single question, this is the one. Don’t forget to ask ‘why’, once they answer this question.

Is there anything else that I should know about this candidate?

By asking this question, employers can know any other specific details that are not addressed by the previous questions. This question may reveal a lot about the job seeker.

What questions do you think should be asked while checking references?

Anna Verasai
Anna Versai is a Team Writer at The HR Digest; she covers topics related to Recruitment, Workplace Culture, Interview Tips, Employee Benefits, HR News and HR Leadership. She also writes for Technowize, providing her views on the Upcoming Technology, Product Reviews, and the latest apps and softwares.

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