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To Get a Fuller Picture of a Candidate, Talk to Their Coworkers

To Get a Fuller Picture of a Candidate, Talk to Their Coworkers
From Recruiter - September 7, 2017

Checking references afteran interview hasbeen standard hiring practice for a long timebut what if this method fails to give hiring managers the full picture?

When asked for references, most job seekers will provide lists of former bosses who can speak to their hard skills and successes. Instead of only talking to managers, it may be in the best interest of prospective employers to request more well-rounded sets of references.

When giving references for former employees, managers tend to focus on task-related behaviors, such as meeting deadlines or the ability to work independently, according to a study of 20,000 job references conducted by online reference checker SkillSurvey. Meanwhile, the study showed that former coworkers focused more on interpersonal behaviors, using words like helpful, compassionate, and friendly far more often than managers.

To put it bluntly, managers may be providing feedback about what a candidate provides, while the coworkers provide feedback about how they provide it, which is a more well-rounded picture,says Ray Bixler, SkillSurveys CEO and president. For example, a chief medical officer might be best able to rate a nurses level of quality of care, while the nurses colleagues might be better able to rate how the nurse candidate made the patient feel. So, coworkers are providing invaluable insights into a candidates work presence and effectiveness as a teammate, which has the potential to impact customer service, company culture, and organizational success.

Getting a Complete Picture of Your Candidate

It isnt difficult to get applicants to hand over well-rounded reference lists. Recruiters and hiring managers just need to bespecific about what they are looking for in references when they ask for them.



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