Companies sometimes forego checking job candidates’ references during the hiring process, assuming that hiring managers already have enough information about the person after interviewing them. But this is a mistake. Checking references is an essential part of every hiring process.
1.It’s a check for accuracy
By checking references, you can confirm the information that a candidate has included on his or her resume, such as dates of employment, job responsibilities, accomplishments, and other background.
Given that embellishment of resumes is a fairly common practice these days, it’s important to get confirmation about a candidate’s background.
2. It gives you a more complete picture of the job candidate
By talking with former colleagues and supervisors, you can get a more complete and surefooted picture of a job candidate. By talking to these people, you can learn a lot more about the candidate– how the person performed on a daily basis, what their personality is like, how they get along with other people, how dedicated they are to their job and to career development.
You may find out things that will cause you to reconsider your opinion of the candidate.
Talking with references
To get the most from a reference check, you need to prepare for your conversation. You should draw up a list of questions in advance, inquiries that well elicit information you are particularly interested in learning about the candidate.
When talking with the reference, you should also take the time to ask follow up questions and probe more deeply into the answers to really get a good picture of the person. You may also want to ask the reference for the names of other people who know the candidate in order to interview them.
You should also take notes on the information that you are getting so you have something to refer to later when you’re making your decisions.
Finally, during your conversation there is one question that you must ask, one that will really tell you whether the job candidate is worth hiring– would you hire this person again?
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