Think that taking a quick look at someone’s LinkedIn is enough of a reference check? Think again. Talented interviewers will say anything in an interview. You owe it to yourself and your company to hire smart, which means always double checking a candidate’s references before sending over that offer letter. Keep reading to find out just how important reference checks are to the hiring process.
So, you’ve found the perfect candidate. They’ve gone through interviews with different members of your company, and everyone loves them. You’ve checked out their profiles on social media and don’t see any red flags. Time to take down the job posting and send over the offer letter, right? Not so fast!
Fewer and fewer companies are performing reference checks nowadays. This could be because the process of the hiring process has gotten longer with collaborative interviewing, or because there is too much reliance on other assessments like LinkedIn. Either way, not doing a quick reference check is a big mistake, which could cost you time and money.
You may have had a couple of conversations with individual, but how well do you really know him or her? There’s always a chance that this person is just really good at selling themselves, but when it comes to actual performance, they fall flat. You owe it to yourself and to your company to do your due diligence and check references before sealing the deal. This is one of the easiest ways to avoid a mis-hire.
Sure, part of the reference check can include things like social media profiles and LinkedIn, but it shouldn’t stop there. This is all artificial information that could easily be manipulated. The main purpose of doing a reference check is to get an understanding of the candidate’s past relationships with previous colleagues and managers. You want reassurance that they will contribute to a team, and that they haven’t oversold their past experience.
I know it may seem like unnecessary work when all you want to do is finally fill that open position, but taking the time to conduct a thorough reference check will only serve you well in the future. It is a good way a check that the candidate will be a good fit for your company, culturally. After all, just because someone is qualified to do the work doesn’t mean that they will be a good match, personality-wise. And, the better fit a hire is culturally, the longer retention rate you can expect.
When checking a candidate’s references, be sure to ask specific questions such as what they are like to work with and what strengths and weaknesses they have. You should also try to get a sense of how they evolved as an employee during that particular period of employment. One very direct and telling question is whether or not the previous employer would consider re-hiring them.
You are so close to the finish line, don’t blow everything and forget this final step. The last thing you want is to be two weeks into their employment and realize that hiring them was a huge mistake!