Candidate Selection – Rule #8: Check References global recruitment

After the interview get on the phone to a couple of past employers.

Identify yourself and your organisation, mention that a prospective employee has given the person you are now calling as a reference check. Be reasonably crisp and save two questions to the last: “Would you re-employ the candidate?” “Is there anything else you think I should know?”

You will find most people very helpful and quite likely you’ll be deluged with information. This is good, but especially check the facts that the candidate has fed you.

A point worth noting is that past employers will incline towards praise rather than condemn a person, and you should therefore not take all they say at face-value. On the other hand, when a reference is so bad that it is almost a sentence of death then try and check back on the firm.

Some employers just don’t like a person for leaving and sometimes, past friction can unconsciously cause past employers to be rather more critical than is warranted.

As in most things, use a little personal judgement.

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