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How Not-For-Profits Take The ‘Gut Feeling’ Out of Referencing

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How can you add an extra layer of governance to your NFP’s hiring systems and strengthen the security of the recruitment process?

There’s nothing quite like the feeling you get when you’re on the cusp of securing a dream new recruit for your organisation.

They’ve got an outstanding skill set, the right attitude and they’re a perfect cultural fit for your team– all you need to do to seal the deal is tick a few boxes and check in with their referees.

Anxious to lock the candidate in, you call their referees, leave a message, call again, leave another message and then email but often, a week later, you’ve made no progress.

This process – a typical approach to reference checking across all sectors – leaves the hirer in a position where securing the ideal candidate is at the discretion of referees who have to find time in their schedules to return calls, messages and emails.

And, as you wait for feedback, you might start to wonder if you should be considering other options – and you’re thrown straight back to square one.

A Better Approach?

Understandably, the NFP sector requires a heightened level of due diligence during the hiring process. Reference checking is critical to ensuring a candidate lives up to what they’ve claimed in their resume and during their interviews – their experience, expertise and understanding of the issues unique to the sector.

However, the traditional approach of gathering references over the phone – with hand-scribbled notes as the primary record of the discussion – can be time-consuming and unreliable.

It can also be inconsistent, difficult to measure, irrelevant, and potentially fraudulent. The process gives recruiters, hiring managers and their organisations very little insight into the candidate and their suitability for a role in a sector that often works with sensitive issues.

It goes without saying that having the right candidate in the right role is crucial. And that means you need to be confident you’re investing in people with the integrity and quality to match your organisation.

So how can you add an extra layer of governance to your NFP’s hiring systems and strengthen the security of the recruitment process at the reference-checking stage?

Moving Into the Future

In response to these age-old HR challenges, organisations are seeking new alternatives. One such solution is Xref, which not-for-profits such as Mission Australia, Life Without Barriers, Yooralla and E.W Tipping Foundation are now introducing to make life a little easier.

Instead of spending hours on the phone to referees, these organisations’ HR managers are able to add real value to their respective organisations by improving the speed and reliability of their candidate screening process.

This means they can make well-informed hiring decisions using reliable and insightful data, as opposed to relying on harried notes made while on the phone – and that often inaccurate ‘gut feeling’.

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