3 Modern Day Approaches To The Reference Checking Process


According to SHRM, more than half of all resumes and job applications contain falsifications ranging from simple exaggerations to outright lies. A whopping 70% of college students admit that they would lie on their resume to get a job. This can make finding and selecting the right candidate for a position difficult for talent recruiters and hiring managers. So what can you do to prevent becoming a victim of resume fraud? How can you fine-tune your reference checks to separate the wheat from the chaff?

Fortunately, new approaches are emerging that can improve the speed, efficacy and accuracy of checking applicant references:

1. Social Media Offers New Insights on Job Candidate's Personality

It's common to say that social media is changing the job search and hiring process. It is rapidly becoming an effective recruiting tool as well as another means for employers to assess job candidates. Social networking sites also offer a handy way to check background information on potential employees. A quick look at an applicant’s social media profiles often offers insight that you would not get from the interview and traditional reference checks.

Research even suggests that people can make surprisingly accurate assessments of a person’s personality based solely on his or her Facebook profile. Another study found that a five to ten-minute look at a person's Facebook profile led to more accurate results than long personality tests often used to assess prospective employees.

2. Reference Checks Make It Easier to Compare Candidates’ Performance

Checking a reference can be both frustrating and fruitless when the only information former employers provide is dates of employment and job titles. Calling references often turns into a friendly chat with a stranger that ultimately yields no real information about the job candidate. Well performed reference checks are the key to obtaining actionable information so you can then compare applicants and determine the best fit for the position.

Unfortunately, many companies fail to utilize the power of standardized hiring procedures and reference questionnaires.

By creating a uniform questioning process, employers can be sure that they are receiving a thorough look at a candidate’s skills, past performance, communication abilities and customer service ratings. Where traditional interviews often fall flat by only examining a few areas coming from one person, standardized questionnaires are much more multi-dimensional

3. Automated Reference Checking Is Revolutionizing the Hiring Process

Social media and standardized reference checking offer a more comprehensive way to assess talent – now imagine if you could automate this process. Automated reference checks take the hassle and headache out of calling employee references and gathering details about job candidates. References simply need to access a company’s online survey form and submit the requested information. This allows companies to obtain fair, standardized and timely reports from multiple references and then take a direct look at how individuals are rated by their former employers and co-workers. The consistency of surveys allows employers to quickly evaluate the results and make better hiring decisions.

An added benefit of automated reference checking is that it produces better response rates than traditional telephone interviews. References are often busy, so tracking them down for a phone conversation is challenging. Allowing references to submit their feedback online at their own convenience typically leads to more responses.

Reference checks are one of the most critical aspects of the hiring process. New approaches now offer employers unprecedented access to useful information and insights that allow HR departments to make better hiring decisions. These strategies might change the way you approach reference checks and ensure that you make an investment in the best possible candidates.

What ways have you approached the reference checking process?


About The Author

Yves Lermusi (aka Lermusiaux) is CEO & co-founder of Checkster. Mr. Lermusi is a well known public speaker and a Career and Talent industry commentator. He is often quoted in the leading business media worldwide, including Fortune, The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Business Week, and Time Magazine. His articles and commentary are published regularly in online publications and business magazines. Mr. Lermusi was named one of the “100 Most Influential People in the Recruiting Industry” and his blog has been recognized as the best third party blog.