Although most employers dismiss reference calls as an outdated and highly biased part of the screening process, they can provide invaluable insight that can’t be obtained through interviews and background checks. Businesses should start with a purpose by understanding what information they are seeking. They also should know the best person to talk to. Employers should be careful to not resort to confirmation bias, simply because they are excited about the potential employee. Context is critical when it comes to the call itself and can help keep the call on point, ensuring facts are verified. Finally, don’t be afraid to dig in with questions regarding working relationship, goals and motivators, and strengths and improvement areas.