Is reference checking dead? We’d like to think not! But often the method that businesses rely on offers little value.
As the only stage of the recruitment process that gathers opinions on a candidate’s capabilities from someone other than the candidate, reference checking still serves a critical purpose, when done well.
Issues with traditional, phone-based methods are well known and, in the most part, common sense, but what if you’ve upgraded to an online version and still don’t feel like you’re seeing the right results?
Luckily, there are a few telltale signs that everyone can look out for to know when it’s time for a change.
1. Recruitment delays
This is the most common and early indication that your reference checking process is letting you down. When you’ve identified a great candidate, done all your due diligence, and spent time forming a relationship with them, the last thing you want to hear is that they’ve gone elsewhere because your recruitment process was simply taking too long.
Phone-based referencing can add days, if not weeks, to the end of a recruitment process. Upgrading to an online reference checking solution will offer you faster turnaround times with greater transparency for candidates, ensuring they’re never in the dark about the progress of their references.
2. Poor compliance
If you’re unsure about the processes and protocols you have in place for ensuring the security of your data, then the chances are you either don’t have any or they’re not very good! Manual approaches to reference checking pose a number of risks when it comes to data compliance, with a lack of control around the way they are conducted, recorded and shared.
While online reference checking tools should offer the assurance that these concerns are being looked after, it’s best to check that your provider offers the right level of security and compliance measures, so you can conduct your references with peace of mind.
3. A lack of flexibility
Traditionally, for ease and through habit, businesses use the same reference template for every role. We have seen first hand that this leaves teams with very little information to make an informed and fair hiring decision. But an online tool will not always guarantee any greater flexibility to change the reference dependent on the role.
The ability to tailor the entire reference checking process with custom branding, bespoke communication with candidates and references, and unlimited reference templates that can be built with ease, creates a better experience for everyone involved and delivers greater insights.
4. Inconsistent approaches
While having the flexibility to change reference templates to make them relevant to certain roles is a huge benefit, it is also important to know that every reference is conducted with a consistent approach. This ensures that every candidate is given the same opportunities and also makes it possible to benchmark talent with consistent insights at a glance.
For many businesses, the reference checking process is conducted by different people depending on the role or department the candidate is being hired for. This leads to huge inconsistencies in the style and approach of the reference call - some might be more conversational than others, for example, and some might digress away from the questions planned. This can lead to complications in comparing the reference feedback, as well as the potential risk of discriminatory questions being asked.
An online process removes these risks, adding consistency and assurance to every reference conducted.
5. Missing expertise & insights
While technology makes a huge difference to the efficiency and reliability of traditionally admin-heavy tasks, the real value comes when this is coupled with human input and expertise. Businesses will often claim that their people are one of their greatest assets, at Xref that is definitely the case. Our expert customer success team, in particular, offers our customers an unrivalled service from the minute they sign up as an Xref user, with:
- regular check-ins
- product updates
- round the clock support
- optimal referencing advice
And some general friendliness thrown in for good measure!
If you’re looking to upgrade your reference checking process to ensure you are seeing the most value from it, make sure the method you opt for offers you not just a better way of doing things but also the support you need to continually optimise it.