Why you should check potential employee references

Why you should check potential employee references

With so many UK employers only providing the barest of details in references, you may think they are not worth the bother, so why do we still ask? A recruitment reference can get to the facts. From stories of a different person attending interviews on behalf of someone else, to employees embellishing their CVs, employers need to be cautious. We all want to present ourselves in the best possible light on our CVs, which may lead some towards exaggerations. However, there is a difference between embellishment and downright untruths. If you can get honest employee references as to what your new hire did in previous roles, you will be better placed to confirm their capabilities and suitability.

Hiring managers aren’t always good at employee interviews

They may be very good at their "day" jobs but hiring managers are not always trained in recruitment interviewing. They may not do it very often and so can become a little out of practice. Either way, it’s important to have some form of verification process. Obtaining a reference is one part of this verification process, together with any testing that you might use as part of the recruitment process.

There is a lot of help out there for candidates

Smart candidates will make use of everything available online to assist them in delivering a good performance at interview. They may be more up to date with their skills than your managers. Wiser candidates will practise answers to questions you might ask until they are word perfect. This is another reason as to why you should get as much information about your chosen candidate as possible.

Employee references can take some interpreting

Sometimes, it’s what references don’t say that matters more than what they do say. Employers know that they have to be able to back up everything they say with facts. The wording in references matters. A really good employee will be given either a standard reference or a reference that reflects their performance.If you are unsure about anything in the reference, ask the candidate for clarification. By using an employee referencing tool, you can spend more time interpreting the references rather than sending and chasing responses.

Don’t stop at a employee references

It is very easy to check LinkedIn and Facebook and it goes without saying that you want to ensure your potential hire has values that accord with those of your organisation. Whatever you do, ensure that your processes are fair and that you make it clear in your policies and adverts that you will check social media and that this will be factored into your decision-making.

19th June 2020

Category: General