You’ve already spent significant time and energy on hiring: Sorting resumes, narrowing down the list, interviewing candidates, and now it looks as though you’ve made your choice. Do you need to check the person’s references, or can you just assume that the person who seemed so great in the interview will work out? The answer is “Yes” – consider it part of due diligence that you simply cannot skip. Glossing over reference checks can have a cost that goes way beyond the financial. Avoid these common mistakes whenever possible:

  • Treating it as a formality. Particularly with any position at the management level or higher, you must not view the reference check as something to pawn off onto a junior staff member. The check should be done as soon as you’ve narrowed down your candidate pool to the top choices, and an experienced member of HR or your recruiting partner should do a thorough check of all information.
  • Not cross-referencing. Always make sure that the information on the resume lines up with other information listed on a resume or LinkedIn. If something is amiss, question it immediately. It could simply be an honest mistake (typing something incorrectly, not updating, etc.) or a candidate trying to embellish improperly. Cross-referencing takes just a little while and can save you a lot of grief if you discover discrepancies early on and address them before hiring.
  • Lack of consistency. You really do need to check every employee you hire. With regard to checking references of final candidates, if one somehow discovers you didn’t do a complete reference check on all of them, they may have grounds for a complaint because you didn’t do the same due diligence for each person. Having a clearly established method and policy for checking references will help avoid such situations.
  • Not requiring direct working relationship references. The candidate may have given you references, but have all of them worked directly with that person? It’s perfectly reasonable and logical for you to require one supervisor and one co-worker who have worked with the candidate within the last five-to-seven years. Those people will have a good idea of how the candidate acts as both a subordinate and a fellow employee – valuable information from different sources.

Consider checking references as an essential part of any hiring process. For streamlining your hiring process or conducting thorough reference checks, reach out to the experienced staffing professionals at PrideStaff Thousand Oaks.

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