I asked myself this question after having experienced some frustrating recruitment scenarios in recent months! The quandary is, what happens when you have gone through the timely process of reviewing, shortlisting and interviewing thinking you have the perfect candidate only to have the reference checks tell you you’re wrong?!
So, doesn’t it make more sense to do reference checks first? Wouldn’t it be more efficient to find out how they perform and if they will fit the organisational culture. Even better, would be to find out how they are best managed from someone who has actually worked with them? A resume can look great on paper, the candidate can tell you exactly what you want to hear but they cannot control all that is said by a reference no matter how close they might be.
A recruitment survey conducted by HRD Australia recently found that 71% of candidates are exploiting flaws in the traditional reference checking process.
Could you use an automated reference checking service before the interview to better leverage feedback? Would this enable you to ask more effective questions during the interview process? Could you also use this information during the on-boarding process? Sharing both positive and developmental feedback from their previous managers would certainly be beneficial during this process.
If the thought process of doing reference checks first is too radical, then let me give you a number of best practice methods we use at wattsnext for reference checking:
So, to all the forward thinking HR Managers for the Modern World, get onto it. If nothing else, spending 15 minutes talking to a line manager gives you the opportunity to ask whether you can assist with any of their recruitment needs.
Remember Simplicity sticks, Complexity rejects #HR rocks! #HRfortheModernWorld