Validating Candidate References

Now that you’ve got the final candidate chosen and feel confident in your decision, do you really need to check references? In a word, yes. Doing so can give you insights that go beyond a resume and even an in-person interview … and in some cases, make you rethink a decision.

Here are a few reasons you should always check a candidate’s references.

They take information to the next level.

The best people to give you specifics on your candidate’s duties and whether he did all the jobs he claimed? Former colleagues and bosses. They can give you the true story on acquired skills and projects worked. And if you want hard data, they’ll know about profit levels, sales volume, and the like. Bottom line, if a candidate exaggerated any information, a reference can tell you.

They tell you what it’s like to work with the candidate.

Numbers tell you one side of the story – but you also want to know how it’ll be to interact with this person day-to-day: Don’t overlook how someone will fit in with company culture. You don’t necessarily want someone who can produce well but at the cost of alienating everyone around him. References can tell you about how he responds to criticism, his work ethic; relationships with clients, co-workers, and superiors; and his work style.

They give you information in more than words.

No matter the information, listen to what the reference says – literally. Listen to the tone of voice and hear what isn’t said. Make sure to call and speak on the phone as well as email. What words does the reference use to describe the candidate? Do you hear any long pauses when asked about the candidate’s work ethic or the like? If any responses give you pause, make sure you question them.

Every interview process should include a complete reference check. A great way to see if a candidate will fit into your company is to see how well they fit at the last one, and whether they are person of quality or questionable integrity. You want to know who you’re truly bringing on board before taking the plunge.

For more hiring advice, reach out to the experienced staffing team at PrideStaff Thousand Oaks today!


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