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Reference checking an essential recruitment ingredient

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HC Online | 18 Aug 2011, 10:36 AM Agree 0
Careful reference checking has slowly been slipping away, according to recruiter Kelly services.
  • LM | 18 Aug 2011, 04:47 PM Agree 0
    This is rubbish. Reference checks are known to have very low validity. I do it as a matter of course, but don't put too much weight on what I hear.
  • Roger Reidy | 18 Aug 2011, 05:25 PM Agree 0
    A bit harsh LM - reference checking is a good idea and I would regard it as best practice if done well. In fact, I recommend to all of my clients the merit of independent reference checking, as the recruitment agency has an unavoidable conflict of interest in carrying out checks on their own candidates.
  • RO | 18 Aug 2011, 05:47 PM Agree 0
    People are so transient these days, that it is practically impossible to achieve a suitable outcome in reference checking. Remember people leave managers not employers and ex-managers have a habit of putting people down - whether it is warranted or not.
  • Costa Mina - Director, Reality Check Pty Ltd. | 19 Aug 2011, 01:25 PM Agree 0
    The key to reference checking is ensuring that the person or company doing the reference checks does not have an interest in the hiring outcome. It’s no different to allowing a real estate agent to carry out the building and pest inspections on a property they are selling. Independence is key. I hear it every day from our clients who place little if any value on the reference checks they receive from their recruitment agencies. References with previous direct managers conducted by a third party will always give the employer an outcome free of any bias.
  • Andrew - Museum Victoria | 10 Oct 2011, 02:18 PM Agree 0
    Reference checking should only be considered as another recruitment tool, albeit a very simple and outdated one. Recruiting managers should be putting more effort on other more reliable methods of assessment.

    Everyone knows what the underlying flaws of reference checking are (candidate who give favourite supervisors, work colleges, friends and family as referees). The only way around this, as others have mentioned, is to be highly specific about your questions, NEVER ask open ended positive questions and never accept referees from employers that are not current.
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