Verifying employee references is necessary to ensure that the candidate fits in well the role that is been offered. Professional references are contacted to gather information regarding the candidate’s capabilities, ethics, and work record.
Why Reference Verification?
A professional reference check, which involves a discussion of the individual’s strengths, weaknesses, and qualifications for a particular job, is unique for its personal touch. It does not gather data but instead asks one individual to evaluate another, which provides a personal look into the background of the applicant. Results from reference verification give an insight into the applicant’s trustworthiness, adaptability, reliability, competence, professional qualifications, attendance, and integrity.
However, professional reference check also has some drawbacks. Since it is the candidate who provides the names of the reference, one should ensure while conducting the check that the professional reference is not fabricated. Moreover, at times, professional references might feel disturbed or prefer not to answer the questions asked. The recommended way to mitigate this risk is to search for references independently. Business networks like LinkedIn and Ryze can be used for such searches. This approach while being more reliable, adds to the effort and time required to complete the reference checks.
How is Reference Verification conducted?
Employers typically do reference checks by asking the candidate for two to three references (mostly from academic/professional domains) and then either calling up these references or sending a questionnaire over email. The points covered in the feedback can vary depending on the job profile, seniority, and nature of responsibilities. We have a comprehensive set of questions that the clients might choose from or the list may be customized based on the clients’ requirements.
Some of the questions are:
- Nature and duration of association
- Candidate’s skills
- Candidate’s attitude
- Candidate’s performance, result orientation
- Candidate’s strengths and weaknesses
- Candidate’s behavior and character
- Any issues encountered
The best practice is to verify at least two professional references and one independent reference for every candidate.