Healthy Hiring: Using Reference Checks

Hiring great talent is hard work.  We spend time writing compelling ads, screening in the most qualified candidates, conducting multiple interviews…  It’s tempting to declare a finish to the recruitment process once the final candidate is selected.  But there remains one critical step:  reference checks.

Conducting thorough reference checks can help your organization in 3 areas.

1)  It shows existing staff that you take hiring seriously and you want to ensure new hires are placed in positions where they will be successful.

2)  The right questions will reveal information about your prospective employee that you could never have gleaned during the interviewing cycle.  Staying very open during the reference check call will either confirm your decision or will give you topics for further discussion with the candidate – or make you rethink your decision, possibly saving you from making a costly hiring mistake.

3)  Conducting thorough reference checks will help your firm develop relationships with other employers.  Business people can never have too many contacts — reference checks are an easy way to begin building a network.

Here is a great reference check question that a staffing industry professional shared with me recently:

“What can you tell me about “X” that would take me 6 months to learn?”

Could that question help you create a customized orientation and initial coaching program for your new recruits?

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