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You may be asked to provide a reference for a coworker, professional contact or friend at some point in your career. Providing honest feedback about a candidate can help others and establish your credibility.
Providing a reference may seem challenging so if you’re looking for advice on answering a reference checking questionnaire, look through our blog below. Our post covers some of the most frequently asked questions by referees on online reference checking and tips that could be helpful before you begin the process of sharing your feedback on a candidate.
A referee or reference is someone nominated by the candidate who gives a potential employer information about a candidate's past work experience, skills, character and conduct. This information backs up what a candidate has said on their CV and interview with a third party’s opinion.
If you’ve been contacted to provide employment references for someone you have worked with in the past, it’s because that person has shared your details for a reference check.
A potential employer prefers referees to be a contact from a previous employer, ideally, a line manager or someone with whom the candidate has worked closely. The objective is to validate what the candidate has said in their CV and interview. Reference checking also offers an employer valuable opinions and insight into a candidate's professional skills, traits and personality.
A reference check is a valuable opportunity for a prospective employer to learn about the candidate from the perspective of their previous manager or colleagues. It is the only stage in the recruitment process that leverages the opinions of someone other than the candidate.
This insight can help the hiring manager gain a deeper understanding of who the candidate really is and how they applied or learnt the skills they have. A good reference check seeks to capture insights about the candidate’s reliability, communication, ability to collaborate and how they work as part of a team, among other aspects, depending on the role. Learning this information can be helpful for a manager to understand how this person will fit into their team and if they have what it takes to succeed in the role and manage the tasks that will be required of them.
Xref is an automated online reference checking solution that makes reference, background and ID checking fast, simple and secure. It can be accessed from any device, anytime and anywhere. For more information, visit our post on General FAQs about Xref.
You have been nominated to provide a written reference for a former employee/colleague. The potential employer has chosen to use Xref to gather your feedback - a secure platform that ensures your opinions will arrive without misinterpretation or amendment. To provide feedback, please click the link in the email sent to you by Xref.
From within the platform, you will be asked to:
Once complete, the employer and candidate will be notified. If, after 3 days, the reference has not been completed, the candidate may choose to nominate an alternate referee.
You can amend any of the details presented to you at this stage of the reference process; simply click on any of the text fields that require editing, delete the current information and enter the correct details.
A reference check is conducted to verify information provided by a candidate. When it comes to responding to reference check questions, the best way is to be honest and give examples wherever possible of the candidate's skills and ability to perform.
For open-ended questions, what works best is if you could provide incidents that could highlight the skills of the candidate (e.g. the candidate's ability to manage a supervisory role or tight timelines).
Referee feedback is available on request; a candidate could get access to the feedback shared by the referees.
You could be asked a mix of questions that range from essential questions about the candidate to personal attributes and role-specific questions. Here is what each of those question types could look like:
Reliable online reference checking providers like Xref take data protection and security very seriously. Xref is ISO 27001 certified and built using the highest standard of security and quality management practices. Xref takes the necessary steps to ensure the data from thousands of organisations, candidates, and referees is secure.
As a referee, it’s advisable to avoid situations where you provide false information about a candidate. The details that you share should be honest and factual.
Our unusual activity algorithm is built to identify and raise a red flag to the employer.
Yes, you can say ‘no’ to a reference check.
Listed below are frequently asked questions specific to the Xref online reference checking questionnaire.
There may be several reasons why you cannot access the link, if so, please try the following:
If you are still having trouble, please submit a case to our support team using the same email address used to log in to Xref.
Please make sure you have answered all the questions asked. If there is a drop-down and text question, you will need to rate and comment to submit. Finally, make sure you have ‘Reviewed’ and then 'Submitted' your reference by clicking through to the submit page.
Please go back to the email from Xref and you will be able to re-access the original link and complete the process.
Please check your junk/spam folder to ensure your Xref invite has not been filtered into it. If you cannot find an email from us please get in touch with our support team with the name of the candidate you are providing a reference for as well as your name and email address, this will allow us to look into the matter for you.
The prospective employer requires written references for their records. If you’re unable to engage in the process please click on the ‘decline’ link in the email or from within the platform and the candidate will be asked for details of an alternative reference.
Xref is not part of the prospective employer’s decision-making process and any information shared would have to be at the discretion of the employer or the candidate. If you need more information, please speak with the candidate directly.
Xref will not contact you by phone, you are only required to fill the online reference checking questionnaire. The advantage for you is that you can complete the Xref questionnaire in your own time and with the peace of mind that your thoughts and opinions will arrive securely and without amendment or misinterpretation. Should you not wish to engage in the Xref process, please click on the decline link in the email and the candidate will be asked for an alternative referee.
Don’t stress if you’ve been asked to provide a reference check for someone! As experts in reference checking, we can point you to more resources to simplify your feedback task. Feel free to read our blog on ‘3 Pro Tips for Giving a Good Reference’ or visit our resource section for more information.
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