Candidate reference checking is a pivotal part of the hiring process. Unfortunately, the process can feel quite involved and overwhelming – especially when you’re busy running your company. As recruiters, we understand the value of quality reference checking. When a candidate misrepresents their experience or abilities at the hiring stage, it can lead to serious complications down the line. That’s why our process for checking references is rock solid, built on years of experience interviewing and following up to avoid any potential problems. Want to know more about how we conduct our reference checks? Best practice reference checking is something that recruiters excel in, so we’ve compiled the top reference checking tips we live by to show you how to get the most out of this vital stage.

1. Plan and Take Notes

Good planning and clear ground rules form the foundation of any successful reference check and subsequent hire. We communicate with candidates upfront to get an early indication of their referees and make it understood what our client expects at the latter stages. If the candidate realises how important it is for us to check references, they’ll be able to prepare their referees, enabling the process to progress as smoothly a possible. It’s important to plan out the questions we want to ask referees to help us obtain the necessary clarity and detail – after all, we’ve only got one chance to speak with them. Taking notes is also key, as it allows us to look back at the conversation and compare the
feedback we’ve been given by other referees.

2. Research Effectively

Sometimes we can’t rely on referees to give us all the information. That’s why we conduct our due diligence to double (and triple) check that the information we have received from candidate and referee is true. The main things we check for are that the referees’ contact details are correct and that there are no inconsistencies in what we’ve been told. We cross-reference the information we have with referee social media profiles – LinkedIn, for example, is a great resource  to help us confirm that the business and job title match what we have already been told.


3. Ask Insightful Questions

When we speak to referees, we don’t ask the same old cookie-cutter questions, we dig beneath the surface to understand what makes a candidate tick. We find out the nitty-gritty, gathering intelligence from people who were directly involved with the candidate and using that to learn more about historical candidate behaviours.


4. Utilise Technology

Leaning on technology is another effective way to carry out due diligence beyond simple social media checks. These days, there are many different options to help you check references and identify red flag.  At Southside Staffing, we use Referoo, a reference checking system for organising candidate and referee data, reducing process bureaucracy and making life easier. It allows us to send automated emails requesting references from our candidates, which they input directly into a dashboard for us to access. Referoo also provides clear reporting and built-in questionnaires, all under a secure SSL connection. The platform enables us to vet referees in a data-driven manner, highlighting potential flags which we wouldn’t normally consider.

5. Seek Help From the Professionals

Reference checking is a critical stage in the hiring process, leaving that work in-house can bring up challenges that delay hiring processes, leading you to potentially lose out on preferred candidates to competitors. Working with a recruiter can take the stress out of the process and let you focus on running your business. We take care of reference checking, working to ensure you find the best fit for the role, not just the person with the best interview. We’ll guide you through every step of the process without weighing you down and distracting you from other priorities.

At Southside Staffing, we take care of your recruiting needs so you can get rid of the stress and fill that role. Working with a recruiter will help you manage the challenges of your next hiring and ensure you get the best possible outcome.
Contact us any time to learn more.