Free the Reference Check from its Bonds

Reference checks have been neglected, ostracized and even banned in some companies. It appears that reference checks are increasingly perceived as a liability to an organization, which has resulted in a direct contradiction; “We want to receive references but we won’t give them.” A reference check is the final step to ensure a great decision is made and well-structured reference checks can make that difference to the bottom line of the company. If they save a company one poor hire per year, they are well worth the time. Executives are not the only people who can make or break a company’s name. A poor customer service representative has the potential to drive a bunch of clients away before their poor customer relations practices are caught. Just as in the financial due diligence process and the interviewing process, there is the right way to conduct reference checks and the wrong way. While providing interviewing training, also provide reference check training. A truly effective reference conversation is an interview of the former manager to understand where the candidate was effective while reporting to them; and where they may need some additional coaching to be successful in their new position. In order for the former manager to give pertinent information, it is important for them to receive a quick understanding of the new position and what challenges that person may face.

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