A Recommendation Isn’t Enough – Employee Reference Check Verifications

Posted on 11.13.2019

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Hiring by referral is a popular way of filling job postings. It can seem less expensive than a traditional hiring process, especially if the recommendation is coming from a higher-up at the company or a trusted employee. And many studies have cited that referrals can lead to better company culture and employee retention.

However, hiring by recommendation alone can come with a host of issues. That’s why we always recommend pre-screening candidates, even when they come with excellent word-of-mouth. Here’s why.

Focus on Due Diligence

Even when you trust the referrer implicitly, their recommendation may not be telling them the whole story. They could be hiding a criminal background, a spotty job history, driving accidents, and more.

If it has been years since the referrer has worked with this person or they have never worked with them in a professional capacity, you need to do your own due diligence to ensure the candidate is really as wonderful as the referrer claims.

Executive-Level Search

Executive searches can be a different type of recruitment than entry or mid-level job openings, but due diligence should still apply.

In Never Go Back by Dr. Henry Cloud, Dr. Cloud shares stories of due diligence mistakes, including one he made in his own business. He hired a CEO that a colleague recommended out of desperation and did not do his own due diligence. The person ended up being the wrong fit and it took him years to recover. (See our blog about the true cost of a bad hire).

The higher up the position, the costlier a wrong hire can be.

Fairness and Transparency

Some HR experts have renounced hiring by referral as it can block other candidates out of the running. In the interest of fairness and transparency, some companies are forgoing hiring by recommendation and including referred candidates in the same pool as everyone else.

Another common criticism is that hiring by referral can negatively affect diversity.

Whether you adopt the same policy or not, having a standard hiring process (and screening process) across candidates is a good practice as it can also protect you when you get a referral you don’t want to follow up on.

For instance, if the CFO recommends his or her nephew for a job with no prior experience, having a policy in place that requires following a formal hiring or screening process could give you an out without alienating relationships.

Screening for Fit

Due diligence – like reference check verifications – isn’t only to uncover hidden criminal records or application lies; it’s also to check for organizational fit, which contributes greatly to employee satisfaction!

Some employees may look great on paper and in the interview, but a thorough reference check can uncover past performance issues that indicate they may not mesh well with your team. For instance, if you are hiring for a sales role, a reference check might reveal that the candidate in question isn’t as strong with client-facing interactions as they had led you to believe.

Or a candidate who is expected to work independently may have had problems staying on task in past roles or may need more hand-holding than you have the capacity to give.

This can reveal critical information about a candidate. Even if you do decide to go ahead with hiring them, you will have an idea of their true strengths and weaknesses to work on. This gives you the opportunity to have more nuanced conversations, adjust your training style, or work on an improvement plan.

Employee Reference Check Verifications

Eliminate frustration with the reference check process by using Triton’s services. An experienced Triton representative will conduct a thorough interview to gain insight into candidate strengths and weaknesses. Typical reference questions focus on dependability, honesty, judgment, character, strengths, and areas for improvement.

Triton referees are trained to ask open-ended and probing questions, listen for pregnant pauses, and record detailed answers to give you a solid idea of who you are hiring.

Don’t just hire someone because of good word-of-mouth. By sticking to a formal process, you’ll ensure the candidate is as great as the referrer promises.

Learn more about Triton Canada’s reference check verifications by calling 1-844-874-8667 or visiting https://www.tritoncanada.ca/bu....