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By Key Business Advisors
Human Resources

‘When reference checks are done right, they can be hugely helpful and be the difference between hiring the right or wrong person.’ – LinkedIn Talent Blog

Reference checks are a very important part of the recruitment process when a business is deciding to recruit a candidate. Reference checks are often considered as a second opinion, an opportunity to gain a better understanding of the candidate from an outside perspective and from someone who has worked with or known the person.  By asking questions you can  gain some insight about the individual’s character and personality that you may not have been able to gauge from the individual themselves.

The main aim of a reference check is to ask specific questions to ensure any feedback a candidate has given throughout the recruitment process is aligned with what the referees have also communicated. Reference checks are also a great way to weed out any candidates who may have fluffed up their resumes and may have exaggerated the number of skills/experience they have. It is so important to ensure you are asking the right questions and getting the most out of your time with the candidate’s referee to ensure you are making the right decision for your business.

Here at KBA we recommend the following step-by-step process when conducting reference checks:

  1. Getting the candidates permission to call references and making sure they understand it is a step in the recruitment process that is conducted for any potential candidate.
  2. Always informing the referee that under the Privacy Act, the candidate may ask for a copy of the reference/comments made and if this is requested by the candidate that information may be shared
  3. Always communicating to the referee that their time and opinion is valued and much appreciated
  4. Choosing role/skill specific questions to get a thorough understanding of the candidate
  5. Ensuring that you speak to at least two references (this is very important as you are looking for consistent feedback from both referees). Difference in feedback may indicate you need to speak to a third person
  6. Don’t ask long winded, confusing questions, keep them short and sharp to ensure you are getting the most out of your time with the referees

Ultimately, reference checks are conducted to ensure you are finding the right fit for your business, you may have interviewed someone who was really great, but often candidates don’t give the entire picture. Reference checks allow the employer to gain more understanding and identify strengths and weaknesses which will help when getting to know the candidate and help you understand how they learn, take constructive feedback and work in a group environment.

If you or your business need any assistance or guidance around reference checks, recruitment or Human Resource processes please contact us at Key Business Advisors on 1300 4 ADVICE or email info@keyba.com.au.

Book a 15min FREE Chat and speak with one of our qualified and experienced HR Consultants.

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At KBA we are a team that is passionate about taking businesses from good to great. Whether you want to grow your business, better manage your staff, ensure your business is following industry best practices, or ensuring you remain compliant, then please contacts us today as we are here to help!

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