Bitter Truths About Reference Checking

reference check

Reference checking is often dreaded by the employees and they believe that the employment screening company associated with their prospective employer would go to any lengths to find out their backgrounds. We would not say that it is entirely wrong but we would definitely like to tell the employees that they should be ready to be screened in great detail. If you have presented the right facts to the employers, you need not worry about the employment reference check. There are a few reasons why you should be keeping a keen eye on these companies and some activities they perform. Here are some bitter truths about reference checking that you must know about.

  • There is nothing like 'not providing references'- a lot of employers have policies regarding not providing any kind of references to the employees for further recruitment and hiring. They suggest that they would be providing only the dates and times of your employment and confirm your job title etc. Though the HR managers would not be quite interested to provide any more reference than this, the individual managers can be more than interested in providing more detailed references to the employment screening company.

  • Your reference list is never enough- we are being really serious here. The employment screening company can call people who are not included in your reference list. Some companies also believe in some behind the scenes reference checking so that they can truly research the background of an employee. In this cases, they would be taking references from almost anyone but your current employer.

  • Questions can be about anything- you might believe that the screening company would only be asking questions about your employment. However, in reality, they can ask questions about anything. Your attitude towards work, your ethical behaviors, your weak points etc. can be discussed.

  • The tone- you might not believe this but the reference checkers are more interested in the tone of the reference than the words used in the reference. Often, people can manipulate their words but manipulating their tone is very difficult. Discomfort while answering, getting anxious and sounding hesitant are some of the red flags that they would be looking for.

  • There are extremes or nothing- there is nothing lukewarm when it comes to reference checking. The previous manager would either be all praise or might not wish to give any more reference than necessary. In such a case, the reference checker needs to determine whether a lukewarm response is acceptable or not.