Terry Thompson, Surrey, BC, CYBF Mentor, firstname.lastname@example.org
In the previous article I discussed the key objectives of reference checking and how to prepare for each reference check. This article will provide more depth regarding:
Interviewing the person giving the reference information
This objective does not mean that you are literally interviewing the person giving the reference however, you should at least be taking the approach of trying to determine what type of person s/he is, the nature of their relationship with your candidate, and why they make a credible reference. Accordingly, some of your questions should be designed to provide this information to you. You want to feel comfortable that a reference from this person is worth something.
Face-to-face reference checks
I have found many times that a face-to-face meeting with the person giving the reference is far more productive than over-the-phone for the following reasons:
Find at least one to two references who are not listed by the candidate
This will give you a well-rounded perspective on your candidate and allows for a cross-check of the information provided by the candidate-recommended references.
The one question you should always ask
I always finished a reference check by asking the reference if there is anything that I may have missed asking, that they feel is important to determining the candidate’s fit with the position and my company.
In asking this question I would also advise the reference that, given that they obviously had a positive relationship with the candidate (where appropriate), and cared about where s/he next worked, it was in the candidate’s best interest to be as forthcoming as possible about anything else that they felt would be relevant.
A bad fit would not help the candidate, as it would soon come to light and the candidate would be let go. I found this simple question, particularly in a face-to-face meeting, to be very effective.
Reference checking is just as important as the interview(s) of the candidate. Take it just as seriously and take the time to do a good job of it.
The next article will discuss the use of personality profiling in the screening process.
Should you have any questions or feedback regarding the content of this article, please email Terry Thompson at email@example.com ©