Hiring? Make Sure You’re Checking References. Here’s Why

When hiring for a position – especially if you’re in a hurry – it’s easy to skip steps, like reference checking, in the process. But, as of the leading staffing firms in Southern New England, Stewart Staffing knows that reference checks provide you with an opportunity to gain first-hand insight from someone who knows the candidate and has worked with them in the past. So skipping or not requiring them could lead to hiring mistakes that are easily avoidable.

Some other reasons to consider reference checking? According to the Society for Human Resource Management, here’s a look at a few:

  • To verify job titles, credentials, skills and responsibilities
  • To check on past performance issues
  • To ensure you’re hiring a new employee who is honest and has integrity
  • To reduce the chances of legal liability that can result from negligent hiring
  • To ensure a healthy workplace culture for your existing staff
  • To check salary history to see if it aligns with what you’re willing to offer

It’s true that not all managers are completely open about the details of a past employee, beyond their job titles and dates of employment. But even that information can prove valuable. For instance, it’s not unheard of for a candidate to inflate their past roles on their resume. So, if inconsistencies come up during the reference checking process, then it’s a red flag about the job candidate.

Now that you know the many important benefits that come with reference checks, what are some ways to go about effectively performing them? Here are some tips:

Get at least three professional references.

Require all candidates you’re considering to submit at least three references. At least two of the three should be from past managers, who are going to have a stronger sense of the employee’s skill level and past performance than a colleague will.

Listen to what’s said – and not said.

Beyond simply listening to what the reference says to you about the candidate, also pay attention to any pauses in the conversation, as well as their tone of voice. This can help you best read between the lines to ensure you’re hiring the strongest candidate possible.

Ask the same questions during reference checks.

Once you’re ready to make a hiring decision, you want to be able to effectively compare candidates. That’s why it’s important to ask each reference the same kinds of questions. There will certainly be some variations, depending on each individual’s background. But overall, you’ll want to be gathering the same kind of information across the board.

Need more help with your reference checking or hiring process?

Call the experts at Stewart Staffing. As one of the leading staffing firms in Southern New England, we can handle all aspects of the hiring process for you. From sourcing and screening to background and reference checks, we’ve got you covered. If you’d like to learn more about how we can help, give us a call today.

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