CT Staffing and Recruiting News

The latest advice and best practices in hiring and careers.

Top Tips for Reference Checking When Hiring

3d notepad with a check mark drawn to it and a pencilAs hiring manager, your mission (or at least one of your missions!) is to make sure that the best talent is brought into your organization. To complete this mission, you have lots of tricks up your sleeve, right? One trick you’ll need to know is how to conduct thorough reference checks. But it’s easy to fall into the trap of not giving them the attention they deserve. It happens (and we forgive you).

So here are some tips to keep in mind when it’s time for another round of job reference checks:

Don’t Rush
Reference checks are usually the last step before the big job offer is made, so there’s a tendency to hurry the process along and not give it a proper investment of your time. But don’t rush things – most experts agree you should spend 30 minutes on each reference call you make. Obviously the amount of time needed to conduct a solid reference check will vary depending on the type of position and industry. But spending a few hours to conduct a few 30-minute phone calls is well worth the effort.

Have a Plan of Attack
Think about your action plan before it’s time to check references. Request specific information from your candidate – and their references – early in the game:

  • Ask your candidate for an assorted reference list that includes supervisors, peers and direct reports.
  • Don’t surprise a reference with a cold call – schedule it in advance via email so there’s time for everyone to prepare.
  • You can look for candidate information online before starting your reference checks. Visit LinkedIn to see if you have any common connections, and also look at their endorsements and recommendations. 

Ask the Right Questions
Monster.com says that conducting a basic background check about work history isn’t enough. Here are some important questions they suggest you ask:

  • How are you acquainted with the candidate?
  • How long did you and the candidate work together?
  • Why did the candidate leave?
  • If you were hiring people, would you hire the candidate?

We know there are lots of nuances when it comes to the hiring process, which is why working with an employment services firm like A.R. Mazzotta can help lighten your work load and ensure you’re getting the best talent for your CT business. When hiring our team for temporary, contract or regular staffing services, we’ll handle all of the reference checking. But if you’re not currently working with a staffing firm, follow the above tips to help your hiring process be more successful and effective.