Real-Time References

Reference checking is the bane of many an HR professional’s existence. A solution, online reference checking, is now at hand. Every human resource executive is well aware of the problems related to reference checking — the seemingly interminable phone tag, the equivocal responses, and the difficulty comparing references coming from different referrers of different candidates. In addition to shortening the time frame, online reference checking also seems to result in more honest appraisals. Many talent-acquisition professionals and analysts say online reference checking is fixing a process that had been broken for years, but no one knew what to do about it. The online process is virtually automatic for the hiring company, easy for the candidate and quick for the reference. Many people no longer pick up their phones unless they expect a call, they don’t have the time or inclination for free-form reference questions and they’re worried about angering the candidate or inviting litigation if they give a less-than-stellar rating. So, any HR executive who finds those problems of telephonic checking familiar might consider an online service as an effective and easy-to-implement solution. While online reference checking may not be a good fit for all companies, and certainly not for all hires, many HR professionals find them much more effective than telephone reference checking.

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