You think you have the ideal applicant for your vacancy. Whilst you might be itching to make a job offer, confirm your applicant and get back to business, reference checking should always be a key step in your recruitment process.
A good reference check will confirm and reconfirm whether your applicant CAN do the job and if they have the WILL/DRIVE to do the job.
What you need to know:
Your reference check will be asking for information and reconfirming the following:
· Are they who they say they are? (Check/confirm their previous work history.)
· Do they have the ability to do the job they you are considering them for?
· Do they have the drive and the motivation to do the job they are being considered for?
· Will they fit with the immediate team, and the culture of the organisation?
Who to ask:
Not all referees are the same, ideally you want to speak to:
· A current boss or a direct supervisor who can provide detail on the day to day work of the applicant.
Or an alternative may be
· Someone who doesn’t work in the same company as the applicant but deals with them regularly for business, who can provide detailed information on their work ability and attitude.
An applicant may prefer their current boss is not contacted in the first instance, but will normally be happy to provide their details if an offer of employment is likely.
How many references do you need?
It depends on the role, and the quality of the reference but we recommend at least two references to best confirm and reconfirm the suitability of the applicant.
Verbal is best.
For a thorough and insightful reference you want to talk to a referee directly. It allows for you to set the scene with details of your business and vacancy, and for the referee to do the same so you can understand the working environment your applicant has been involved in.
A verbal reference gives you the opportunity to cover off any “grey” areas, learn more about areas an applicant has succeeded and areas for development.
Depending on the role reference checking can be as quick as a 5 minute phone call verifying facts to a 45 minute in-depth discussion on an applicant’s skills, qualities and suitability for your specific position.
There are websites to assist with the reference checking process – click here to link for the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment
If you find it is all too daunting, or too time consuming, talk to PN Personnel. We offer a reference service in which we will consult with you, draft and complete a verbal reference (we recommend at least two) and provide a detailed report based on the information provided.