Reference Checks do they really work???
This is the 2nd posting in our series on background checks, reference checks, and recommendations. Do reference checks really work? That is an excellent question, and a hotly debated topic. If done correctly you can gleam some great information from a reference check. You can tell, how good a candidate was at their job, how well they got along with others, how well they handles stress and more. However to do so, you need to do more than just ask a reference what they think. You need to treat a reference like a candidate and utilize BTOS (see past blog posting on the subject), Looklisology (see past blog posting on the subject), and other skills to not only ask the right questions, but listen to the answers. Listen to not only what they say, but what they do not say and the words they choose in doing so, and how they say it. Examples of some questions and things to ask are:
What duties did the candidate perform?
Ask the reference about the candidates strengths and weaknesses.
Describe your vacant position and ask the reference how he or she feels the candidate would fit into the position.
Ask if the reference would hire or work with the candidate again.
Now of course you can ask more or less questions, the ones above were only examples.
The key is to ask open ended questions and as stated above listen. Above all else ensure you check more than one reference.
Next we will discuss recommendations