Top 6 Tips When Conducting A Reference Check

Reference Check

Hiring the best employees is one of the most important aspects to managing a business. One of the most common ways of screening employees is to contact their references and ask them about the potential hire. Reference checking helps you make sure that the person you are hiring will be a fit for your business by revealing whether or not the employee has good character, what their skills are, how they relate to other people, what their work ethic is, and countless other variables.

However, checking references is not as straightforward as it seems. Here is a list of tips that will help you get the most out of your reference checks and assure that you hire the best possible candidate for the job.

  1. Make a script: a general script will help you to stay on track while interviewing a referee. Just don't adhere too strictly to the script or you will miss opportunities for follow up questions that may reveal more about your potential employee.

  2. Use questions that lead to more than just factual answers. Questions like: "Complete this sentence: If there is one way to improve the performance of the candidate it would be…" probing questions such as this will give you a clearer picture of who you are dealing with.

  3. Some questions are musts. When interviewing a previous employer, ask them if they would rehire the candidate and why.

  4. Usually, references will only speak positively about the candidate. If you feel as though you are being misled don't hesitate to let the referee know that you feel as though you are not getting all of the information you need, or that they may be hiding something.

  5. Ask about skills pertaining to the job you are offering. If it is a computer based job, ask what the candidate's technical skills are. If the job is more social ask what the candidate is like socializing with customers and other employees.

  6. Make sure to close with an open ended question. Asking the referee if there is anything else that they would like to say about the candidate is a good way to figure out information that you were unable to glean from the rest of the interview.

The best reference checks  are done on the phone or in person, this way you are able to view body language, which can often be more telling than words.

Reference checks are an excellent way to gain information about a candidate before you hire them. With these tips you are better equipped to conduct a thorough and comprehensive interview and gain more information about your potential employee.