Tips for Conducting a Proper Employment Reference Check in CanadaApril 5, 2019
Conducting a thorough employment reference check is important when you’re looking to hire new candidates at your company. Learning about that individual’s work history and interactions with customers, colleagues and supervisors can provide insight into how the candidate will behave in the role.
Obtaining Permission for Reference Checks
It is best practice to obtain permission before contacting any references. To keep a record of permission being granted, notify the candidate that their references will be checked and have them sign a form giving their consent.
Tips for Employers to Conduct a Proper Reference Check
- Take the Process Seriously – A quick phone call is not nearly enough to gather the information you need to be sure a candidate will be a good fit for your organization. If you don’t take this step seriously, the person you hired can turn out to be different than you expect and end up not working out, requiring you to start the hiring process over again.
- Conduct At Least Two Verbal Reference Checks – While someone may look great on paper, they might not perform up to those expectations. Cover letters and resumes can be embellished, and the person you’re interviewing might be a great talker. For these reasons, it’s best to carry out at least two verbal reference checks so you can learn how the candidate really behaves on the job.
- Plan Your Questions Carefully – If you ask general questions like “Was Candidate X a good employee?” you likely won’t get much insight. Instead, ask questions that have to do with the position you’re hiring for and the skills required. If you asked the candidate specific questions about decision-making or time management, be sure to ask the reference the same question. Try to get them talking about the candidate’s past work experience and behaviour.
- One Hypothetical Question to Ask – Try to keep all of your questions relevant but understand that you can ask one hypothetical question such as “Would you ever re-hire Candidate X?”.
- Take Detailed Notes – Be sure to take notes while you speak with any references. You may need to refer back to them in the future, such as during a performance review.
- Beware of Fake References – Candidates may sometimes provide fake references that turn out to be friends or co-workers instead of managers. Try to connect with the manager on sites such as LinkedIn to be sure you are speaking to the correct individual.
- Don’t Put Words in Their Mouth – When speaking to the reference, don’t ask leading questions such as “So what you’re saying is Candidate X is a great team player?”. Let them tell you about the candidate.
Order an Employment Reference from RightFit Plus
The employment reference check offered by RightFit Plus are unbiased and professional and provide accurate results. To learn more about the importance of reference checks and the services provided by RightFit Plus, contact us at 905-604-4951 or toll-free at 1-888-604-4951.