How To Know When It's Time To Upgrade Your Reference Checking System


The hiring process often seems to follow a pretty standard schedule. It seems like you've found the perfect candidate for the job. He has the right education and qualifications, a strong resume, and the hiring manager was impressed during the interview. Now it's time to check his references.

At this point, the process slows to a snail’s pace. You spend hours on the phone, leaving messages and trying to arrange interviews with former employers. When you finally do manage to get someone to give a reference, you receive only basic, superficial information about job titles, salary and employment dates.

Does it ever seem like your reference checking process is not working? If so, then it just might be time to upgrade to automated reference checking .

Automating your reference checks can dramatically cut back on wasted time and improve your overall quality of hire . Automating the process not only provides more data than traditional reference checks, but it also takes much less time. This gives hiring managers the ability to focus their efforts more on other aspects of the hiring process such as recruiting and interviewing.

Is it time to update your reference checking system? Here are a few signs that it might be time for an upgrade:

Your Reference Checking Lacks Consistency

Standardizing your reference checking process is essential. Traditional reference checks often involve chasing down contacts for interviews, only to find that many former employers are not willing to provide much information about candidate out of fear of legal ramifications. In other cases, these reference checks lead to hours of wasted time on the phone chatting with former managers without ever obtaining any useful information on past job performance.

Upgrading to an automated reference checking system ensures that all of your reference checks are consistent. All references will be asked the same questions about candidates, allowing you to then quickly compare results on key indicators. This not only leads to more reliable information, but it also makes it easier to make effective hiring decisions.

Your Reference Checks Have Little Influence on Hiring Decisions

Sadly, traditional reference checks are often little more than an administrative obligation performed before making a job offer. This is unfortunate because good reference checks can yield a tremendous amount of information about whether a job candidate will perform well in a position by gathering peer reference check data, information from managers, and more.

If your reference checks have become nothing more than a last-minute legal duty, then it is time to think about upgrading your process to incorporate automated reference checks. Using an automated process allows hiring managers to start gathering information about candidates early on in the hiring process. The reports that are generated can then be used when conducting second-round interviews and as part of the final hiring decision.

Your Reference Checking Does Not Lead to Better Quality of Hire

One LinkedIn recruiting report found that 39% of companies surveyed listed quality of hire as the single most important performance metric. Many companies reported using performance evaluations with new hires to assess quality of hire, but employee retention statistics as well as hiring manager satisfaction reports were also identified as critical measures of this hiring metric.

If your reference checking is not paying off in terms of finding better hires, it is time to consider an upgrade. High employee turnover is often a key sign of a poor match between candidates and position, so it might be time to tweak your job descriptions and automate your reference checks. Quality candidates are more likely to stay in a position longer, so finding the right people from the get-go is a worthwhile investment.

Past job performance can be an important predictor of future success on the job, so reference checking is a critical part of the hiring process. Talent acquisition can be a challenge for any company, but solid reference checks can help ensure that the best candidates are hired. If you are not getting what you want out of your current reference checking process, it is time to upgrade your method to an automated system that will deliver real results.