How to Conduct Reference Checks on Potential Candidates

When it comes to hiring potential candidates, employers should take the time to conduct reference checks. This is an important step in the recruitment process that can help protect the significant investment that a hiring department makes in any new hire. Reference checks can provide employers with an idea of the candidate's workplace behaviors, past experiences, and skill set. When conducting reference checks, employers should avoid asking questions that give them a “yes” or “no” answer.

Instead, they should do some research to find good reference questions that are legal and related to the job they are hiring for. This can be done by using the job description to write specific questions. Reference verification can also be used to confirm dates of employment, positions held, reasons for leaving, and requirements to be rehired. Employers should take into account the number of years of experience needed to qualify the applicant for the position and perform as many reference checks as necessary.

For instance, if a reference indicates that the employee was a good worker but not a good manager, it might be more appropriate for positions that don't have supervisory responsibilities.