Home    Subscribe    Write for Us    FAQ    Contact    HubGarden    Login

Conducting Reference Checks

by colmo (follow)
I'm a freelance writer living in the beautiful Barossa Valley in South Australia, dreaming of the day I can retire from the 9-5 to write full time.
Business (92)      Business Basics (34)      Managing Staff (15)      HR (9)     


Business Interview
Image courtesy of ambro / freedigitalphotos.net

As an employer recruiting new staff, we want to learn as much about potential candidates as possible. We scrutinize their application and CV, craft our interview questions to extract as much information from them as we can in the short time available, and then, if they make it through this process, we check their references.

The first thing we need to establish is that the candidate has confirmed with their referees that we will be making contact.

We also need to very carefully consider the questions we will ask and how we will ask them. Will we:

 Mail or email a pre-set questionnaire that requires written answers?

 Conduct a telephone interview with a pre-set questionnaire?

 Wing it and let the questions flow naturally?

 Arrange a face-to-face interview?

In my experience, most people go with the second method; a phone interview with a specific set of questions. While this method can be useful for keeping us on track and ensuring that we don’t forget any of the important questions, we need to allow some room for movement. Engaging in a conversation can reveal a lot more than just sticking to a script.



Business Interview
Image courtesy of imagerymajestic / freedigitalphotos.net

So the first thing we need to do is list the things we really want to know from a referee – the information we hope to gather.

We then contact at least two referees. The initial call should be to make an appointment – to set a time when the referee will not busy or distracted.

When we make the all-important interview call, we should begin by introducing ourselves, giving an overview of our organisation and outlining what the requirements of the position are. Tell the referee that you are considering X for the position and that you would like to ask a few questions. Give them an indication up front of the types of questions and explain to them that they are under no obligation to answer any that they don’t wish to. This in itself can be a good indicator.

We should try to be a little creative in our questions. Instead of asking, ‘Is X a team player?’ we can say, ‘Can you give me an example of a time when X displayed good teamwork?’ That way we can ensure the answer will be more than a yes or no.

Finally, ask is there anything else they would like to add and thank them for their time.



Business Interview
Image courtesy of imagerymajestic / freedigitalphotos.net

Of course, referee checks aren't always fool-proof. I know of a manager who gave an excellent reference for an employee in the hopes that she would get the job and move on. He said nothing misleading – the employee’s work was quite satisfactory – but he left out the part about the employee being overly talkative and loud. He wasn't asked, so he didn't tell. I don’t condone this approach and believe that we are under the obligation to be as truthful as possible.

Reference checks are just one part of the selection process. One of the best interviews I have experienced was several years ago when I applied for a position with a large organisation. I was invited to an initial formal interview by the area manager and site manager. Then once they had determined that I had the right skills, I was invited to meet the coordinator that I would be working directly with for coffee at a local café. This helped us to learn a bit more about each other in an informal conversation and to ensure we would get along. Fortunately we did, and I got the job.


Business Interview
Image courtesy of serge bertasius photography / freedigitalphotos.net


#Business
#Business Basics
#HR
#Managing Staff
I like this Article - 3
[ print friendly ]
More Articles by colmo
It’s time to wrap up for another year and to begin to look forward to the year ahead
3 likes
How well do you know your staff? Do you ever have conversations with them outside of work-related ...
3 likes
We hear so many stories about ‘what went on at the office Christmas party,’ but I wonder how man...
3 likes
I recently attended a three-day state conference along with around forty other people
3 likes
Let me tell you a story… There once was a company manager who was very good at most aspects of ...
3 likes
Now that you've decided that starting a business is the right move for you, you have your produc...
6 likes
view all articles by colmo
Articles by colmo on Other Hubs
Carrots are a fairly staple vegetable in most diets, and we all know that they’re good for us bu...
14 likes
The earlier we expose puppies to water the easier it will become an accepted part of their world
5 likes
Most of us lead pretty busy lives and don’t always have the time or energy to stop, refresh and resu...
5 likes
ID: 25848
[ Submit a Comment ]
Trending Articles
Keeping your office organized is not an easy task, but it is a crucial one if you are ever to re...
3 likes
When starting a business, it is hard to gain exposure, which is essential to make money
5 likes
Many people who have worked for larger corporations revel in the idea of starting a small business
5 likes
So, you want to run your own business but you fear giving up that “perfect” job that keeps the bills...
6 likes
There is a new “buzz” in the air – having a business that costs next to nothing to set up, working m...
2 likes
Rina Chia is the %%'Business Boss'%% behind Take 2 Markets, an innovative concept giving ladies the ...
7 likes
Whether your business website sells a product or service or is simply an online space which explains...
7 likes
Many people dream of being their own boss, having the flexibility to work whenever and wherever they...
1 like
Unless you have been hiding under a rock, you have no doubt heard people talk about "Social Media"
7 likes
Having a blog is great
1 like
Categories
Trending on Other Hubs
This paper succulent is a great craft to put up for Mother's Day
9 likes
 
Copyright 2012,2013,2014,2015,2016 On Topic Media PTY LTD. ABN 18113479226. mobile version