How Automated Reference Checks Improve Your Quality of Hire

     
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According to a recent research report by Glassdoor, the time required to hire new employees has grown dramatically in the last few years. The average interview process in the United States requires nearly 23 days, and those numbers are even higher internationally. Clearly, finding quality candidates takes time, but what can you do to ensure that you are making the most of the hiring process and finding the best talent?

By using automated reference checking, you can utilize the power and accessibility of the internet to request references. One of the greatest advantages of this is that many references provide more complete and honest answers than they would during a telephone interview. This is the kind of data that leads to better hiring decisions and higher quality hires.

Automated Reference Checking Speeds Up and Simplifies the Process

Reference checking is notorious for being one of the most arduous and frustrating parts of hiring. In many cases, only a tiny percentage of references who are contacted fully complete the entire interview. Some are simply too busy and unwilling to share their time while others are wary of giving out too much information about former employees due to fear of legal ramifications.

The solution to this inefficient system is to rely on automated reference checking. This process allows HR managers to collect a great deal of information quickly and affordably. Best of all, this information requires little effort on the part of the hiring manager.

This not only speeds up the hiring process; it also leads to better quality hires. By obtaining complete references, hiring managers can make better decisions about which job candidates are right for the available position.

Automated Reference Checks Lead to Actionable Information

The traditional reference checking process usually looks a bit like this:

You’ve prescreened your candidates, conducted interviews and narrowed down your pool of possibilities to a select group. Now it’s time to check those references. Except many of the individuals listed as references are difficult to contact. Others offer little in the way of useful information while some even keep you on the phone for an extended period engaging in small talk that leads nowhere.

Automated checking eliminates all this needless run-around. Instead of getting vague platitudes about a candidate, the automated process allows you to collect consistent, useful information that relates to each candidate's skills, experience and aptitudes. This information can then be used to select the most qualified talent for the position.

Automated Checking Makes Information More Useable

While the traditional reference check system might result in a stack of partially completed interviews, automated reference checks make the process more scientific. People who access the online reference survey are more likely to fully complete the questionnaire. This gives hiring managers a better look at each candidate.

Once the data has been collected, you are then able to look quickly at the information in a more collected and presentable format. Which candidates rated the highest on interpersonal skills? Which ones ranked lowest on overall experience? As you recruit new talent, this data allows you to determine quickly which candidates are best matched to the position. Instead of focusing on your gut feelings, you can turn to data-driven insights about each candidate you assess.

Automated Reference Checking Helps Eliminate Bias

References often feel compelled to be overly positive or even protective of individuals they have worked with in the past. By using a standardized format and making the process less personal, references are more likely to be honest about their assessments of the candidate. This leads to less biased reference checks and allows you to select candidates based on their abilities.

Automated reference checking offers a multitude of benefits compared to phone-based reference interviews. In addition to speeding up the process considerably, hiring managers can quickly obtain a great deal of useful information that can lead to dramatically higher quality hires.

How would automating your reference check process improve your quality of hire?

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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.