How to Bring Hiring Happiness to Reference Checks


References can help you decide between top candidates. They can give you a closer look at an individual’s work ethic, talents, skills, and personality. They can help you find top leaders — those who will expand your company and excel within your organization. However, to gain valuable information from your references that will assist with your hiring decision, you must optimize your conversations with them. Here are a few tips to make that happen:

Automate Your Reference Check Process

In an effort to save time, hiring managers or recruiters can simply automate the reference check process, instead of calling references or searching for them on social media. With platforms such as SkillSurvey, hiring managers or recruiters can quickly and easily send out a survey to candidates requesting reference information, and references can provide their confidential performance feedback on the candidate for you to review. Automated reference checks can be very useful, as they provide the same amount of value as a one-to-one phone call. Not to mention, automated processes are much quicker for all parties involved.

Take Extensive Notes

Taking notes during the entire hiring process is vital and can help during reference checks. If you have concerns or questions during a candidate interview, take notes and match them up to the feedback you receive from references. This can help you sort information and aid you in making your final hiring decision, especially if you receive multiple references for a candidate.

Don’t Focus on One Type of Reference

Candidates commonly list only past managers and supervisors as references. While these individuals can certainly provide information about performance, they cannot paint a of a candidate’s work ethic and teamwork. Ideally, you want to receive feedback from a variety of individuals, including past co-workers. When you request references from a candidate, be sure to communicate with the candidate the types of references you prefer he/she include.

A study by SkilllSurvey looked at the type of feedback provided by both managers and co-workers. In the survey, co-workers offered details focused on the following:

  • Helpfulness
  • Knowledge
  • Confidence
  • Willingness to listen
  • Personality

Managers provided details such as:

  • Dependability
  • Reliability
  • Independence
  • Responsibility

Benefits of Conducting Reference Checks

There are many benefits to conducting reference checks. Due to the fact that reference feedback is confidential, SkillSurvey has an 85% response rate, with references providing candid feedback. When you receive each completed candidate feedback report, be sure to read through all of the information provided.

Additionally, using SkillSurvey reference checks can allow you to:

  • Reduce voluntary and involuntary turnover
  • Increase efficiency and cost-effectiveness
  • Improve the hiring journey
  • Enhance satisfaction of hiring managers
  • Expand your talent network

Because Skill Survey’s survey types are tailored by position, you will receive back detailed and specific information on the candidate’s performance in former positions.

If you wish to reach more references easily, lower your turnover rates, and reduce bias from hiring and improve compliance, it is essential that you conduct reference checks. Also, remember that conducting reference checks doesn’t have to be time-consuming when you automate the process. Reference checks can provide the most clear and detailed picture regarding a candidate’s work ethic and personality, as well as whether he or she is truly the best person for the job.

If you’d like to test out reference checks through SkillSurvey for your next potential hire, we’re offering your first reference check free for a limited time! Please contact our support team to claim this offer.

Alisiana Peters

Author: Alisiana Peters

Alisiana is a marketing coordinator at HiringThing, an award-winning online recruiting software provider dedicated to changing the way businesses hire talent. Questions? Contact HiringThing Marketing.