The importance of robust reference checks in recruitment

Wrong hires can cost organisations time and money. Chris Murphy outlines why reference checks are more important than ever before

The importance of robust reference checks in recruitment

Wrong hires can cost organisations time and money. Chris Murphy outlines why reference checks are more important than ever before

In a bid to find, attract and acquire the best talent for clients, it can be tempting to cut corners on the tasks that stop you from quickly making a recommendation.

One such process that is often fast tracked or even overlooked - due to its traditionally slow and manual approach - is reference checking.

A quality recruitment staple

When its full scope is recognised, reference checking becomes a valuable HR tool that can safeguard recruitment agencies and labour hire companies from the risk of placing a “bad egg”.

I spoke to Rachel West, director of commercial and operations at Bluefin Resources, who agreed saying, “Reference checks are a critical part of a quality recruitment process. It’s an opportunity to validate the rationale to hire a candidate and glean as much information as possible to assist with a smooth transition into a new organisation.”

While they are an important validation mechanism, they also deliver assurance and insights that can help clients with the onboarding and professional development of new recruits.

Our Recruitment Risk Index research found that 71% of candidates are exploiting flaws in the traditional reference checking process. Adopting a robust and insightful approach is the perfect way to ensure the the skills and experience expressed by a candidate are legitimate.

Key for due diligence

Your clients are feeling the pressure of the consequences of a bad hire and are now, more frequently, structuring their contracts to make recruiters directly liable.

Reference checks are a critical component of the due diligence process and failure to comply can lead to lead to both liability claims and candidates not making it through their guarantee period.

In order to ensure you have all your compliance bases covered, you should be conducting reference checks that offer clients value and assurance by:

  1. Accurately verifying the individual on the end of a personal email address.
  2. Ensuring you have an appropriate number of timely responses from suitable sources.
  3. Delivering consistent questions that will help clients make an informed hiring decision.
  4. Gathering insights that add value to the HR manager’s role, beyond the recruitment period.
  5. Quickly and accurately analysing the information collected.
  6. Guaranteeing you provide your client with a real, unbiased view of a referee’s answers.
  7. Offering a secure and compliant method of gathering, storing and using referencing data.

Future proofing starts with compliance

As well as avoiding potential liability claims, ensuring you tick off each requirement in the checklist above will also see you adding greater value and insight to your recruitment process.

The industry has changed, today you must be able to demonstrate that you took all available measures to protect both your agency and your clients’ organisations from deceitful candidates, while also generating value during the hiring period. Technology is key to making that happen efficiently.

In 2018 and beyond, the use of smart technology will become the minimum benchmark for a successful recruitment business. A recruitment journey driven by technology will ensure full compliance, while improving process efficiency, avoiding any human biases and offering a level of insight that cannot be met with manual approaches. This will give you peace of mind in the candidates you are recommending for clients, as well as the insight and capacity you need to improve the overall service you deliver.

Get the compliance right and the added benefits will follow.

About the author

Chris Murphy is Sales Director APAC at Xref






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