The right way to do a reference check

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Reference CheckBefore you decide to offer the job to the candidate, it is worth doing a strong reference check. It is a great opportunity to verify the facts and claims made by the candidate. More importantly, it is an opportunity to design elements of the job that can leverage the candidate’s strengths and coach the new hire to integrate into the company’s culture.

Ask the candidate to share a list of referees which should include former bosses, colleagues and team members. Ref checks are best done in person (or on Skype) because you can pick up non-verbal cues that are hard to observe on email or on a phone call.

Decide ahead which skills you wish to find out more about. Then identify the person who would have had the best chance to observe the candidate’s skill. Write down the challenges of the role. Think about the set of relationships with stakeholders that are crucial for a person to be successful in that role. Share some of these aspects with the referee and explain why referee’s candor is important to help the person land a job where the person can be successful.

While doing a reference check decide who is the best person to assess the skill you wish to learn about. A boss maybe the right person to ask about the candidate’s strategic thinking skills and colleagues may give you better instances of collaboration and team work. The reportee can give you the best examples of how the candidate leads a team through a difficult complex project.

Finally, don’t forget to ask about the candidate’s ability to learn as well as the ability to groom and coach team members. The job demands will change as the business canvas changes.

The reference check is a powerful way to understand the candidate’s self-awareness, motivation and social skills. Ask the referees for examples of the candidates ability to learn adapt and grow.

Source: The Right Way To Check a Reference byClaudio Fernández-Aráoz
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Reference checks

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