Don’t forget to reference check the referees…

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Posted By: garyc Posted In: News Date Posted: July 19th, 2012 Comments: 0

In our never ending attempts to really know our preferred candidates, the role of reference checking remains as crucial as ever.

Done correctly (that means obtaining the right information) it ranks alongside psychometric testing and interviewing as one of the most reliable predictors of on-the-job performance.

However there’s one small point that occasionally trips up employers – and even some experienced recruiters. It’s the subject of “checking the referees”.

What I mean by that, is establishing that who they say they are and more importantly who they claim to be, is accurate.

So what seems to be the problem here?

The issue is that when receiving details from your candidate about their referees, you will often be provided with a mobile phone number. Along with this you would expect to receive details of their job title and employer, plus the nature and time – duration of the relationship between them and the candidate.

If a switchboard number is missing, you should ask for one. Once you get it, you should cross check that number with the company website.

A switchboard number allows you to instantly confirm that the claimed job title and employer of the referee are accurate.

We’ve heard of instances where referees no longer work where the candidate claimed they did or more worryingly, that they never actually worked at the place they claimed to (they were coached by the candidate or are just a friend trying to help them out).

An in-between lie is that they were a colleague, not their manager as was claimed.

Apparently, it’s even a service you can acquire via the Internet. Check out if you don’t believe us.

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