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6 Things You Didn't Know About Reference Checking

6 Things You Didn't Know About Reference Checking
From Recruiter - August 12, 2016

Whats there to know about checking references? A lot more than you might think. Here are six things you may not have known about this very commonand very crucialpractice:

1. Reference Checks and Background Checks Are Not the Same Thing

Do you do both? If so, make sure youre getting useful insight from each and not just duplicating your work. For example, if you use reference checks to verify employment history, then youre not learning anything new. You could have gotten that information from the background check.

Why do a background check?

- To comply with the law (when required)
- To verify employment history
- To check criminal records

Why do a reference check?

- To confirm job titles and dates of employment
- To learn about a candidates strengths and weaknesses
- To better understand the candidates previous job duties and experiences

Background checks are fairly standard, but the effectiveness of a reference check will depend on your process. If youre not able to differentiate your reference checks in a meaningful way, then its probably time to rethink your approach.

2. More ThanHalf of All Resumes and Job Applications Contain Untruths*

Can you tell fact from fiction? Probably not, but former coworkers and managers have firsthand knowledge of what a candidate is like to work with, what theyve achieved, and what theyre capable of.

According to a survey of more than 1,000 senior managers, more than one in five candidates areremoved from consideration after their references are checked. Thanks to insight from candidates professional contacts, many employers are spared the expense of a bad hire.

(*Society for Human Resource Management)

3. Traditional Reference Checks Can Take Weeks to Complete

Meanwhile, your time-to-hire spins out of control. If your company requires a reference check as a condition of employment, then you and the candidate are at the mercy of the referenceswho are in no hurry to call you back.

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