Reference Checks, a Primitive Practice or a New Transparency?


Checking with a potential candidate’s references is by no means a new practice when it comes to hiring. Traditionally done manually, recruiters don’t look

 to revise the reference check process to keep up with modern times-- many are looking to dismiss the practice altogether. However, Allan Schweyer, Executive Director of TMLU argues that reference checks matter more now than ever.

Negative long term effects of bad hiring practices include: bad workers, decreased productivity, lower trust and collaboration, and an erosion of company culture -- all of which are difficult to pinpoint the source of and detect immediately. A study finds that group productivity can drop 30-40% due to a single bad “apple” within your organization.


With most jobs offering online digital applications for submission, falsifying cover letters and resumes becomes an easy task for the average candidate today. The counterbalance to this dilemma however is that technology also allows easier and less costly procedures to check a candidate’s claims. Algorithms, machine learning, social media networks, and automation make a person’s history more verifiable than ever; this is the new transparency offered today by automating reference check services.