Monday, November 26, 2012



Let’s take a moment to discuss Reference Check Interviews.  These interviews tend to be brief in stature, lasting only 5 to 15 minutes long.  The interviews are typically conducted by a recruiter, HR rep, or hiring manager over the phone with declared references or former employers of potential candidates.  The goal of these interviews is to confirm information from the resume and employment interview.  Additional information about a candidate may also be revealed in these discussions.

Some Basic Guidelines

·         Non-Discrimination:  Be sure to be consistent in your reference checks.  Checking some individuals and not others may be viewed as discriminatory.

·         Document, document, document:  To ensure that you are covered from potential legal action, be sure to document any details of a negative recommendation.

·         Permission:  Be sure to have an applicant’s permission before contacting former employers.

·         Two Reference Minimum:  To rule out bias, be sure to check with at least two former employers.  This can also be helpful in spotting patterns.

·         Personal References:  You should check them, but you can almost guarantee that a personal reference will be a positive one.

·         Scripting:  Similar to the other interviews discussed thus far, having a script handy will keep your interview more direct and likely to result in useful information about a candidate.

As I am sure some of you have experienced these kinds of interviews, please feel free to share with the rest of us in the Comments.  And remember all of you Human Resources professionals: Be Human... Be a Resource... Be a Resource for Humans.

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