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Online Reference Checking: Xref Benefits Explained



Automated, online reference checking provides a faster, safer way of collecting valuable insights, helping hiring managers make quick and confident decisions.

But how does automated reference checking actually work?

Xref Online Reference Checking Explained

Watch this short video to find out - the Xref way!

Book a free demo to find out how online referencing can help stream-line your reference checking process.

The 3 steps of automated references

This is how we do it in Xref, 3 simple steps:

Step 1 - Requesting a reference

The employer logs into the platform and adds the details of their candidate (or multiple candidates) and selects the reference template they wish to use.

Step 2 - Completing the reference

The candidate then receives an email inviting them to add the details of their reference providers. Once submitted, the reference provider will receive an email inviting them to complete a secure, online reference questionnaire.

Step 3 - Receiving the reference report

Once the reference is complete, the employer is notified, and will receive a secure analysis of the feedback, including information on how the candidate performed against other individuals referenced.

3 steps to an Xref reference

What are the benefits of doing it online?

Our Xref users report multiple benefits, this is a summary of what companies using online reference checking find:


Having access to this cloud-based solution will allow you to cut the time taken to reference, removing the back and forward of playing phone tag and use the time that would have been spent focused on the human element of the HR recruitment process and tasks. As it was mentioned above, the time taken for reference checking has been dramatically reduced with the help of online reference checking, allowing reference checks to be completed in a fraction of the time. The Xref platform can also be integrated with other recruitment software to save even more time in the hiring process.

“Xref is time-saving, efficient and very professional. I would never want to go back to doing references in the old way.” - Diella Gabelich, Director Auckland, Blue Sky Recruitment


Transparency during the reference checking period can heavily impact the candidate experience and can sometimes effect the direction that the applicant takes. The Xref platform provides complete transparency throughout the process, providing status updates at each stage to give both the employer and the candidate the knowledge of what the next step is. You can also receive a sentiment analysis rating for the reference check, based on the use of positive and negative language within their questionnaire responses to allow data driven decision making within the hiring process.

“Xref has made the reference checking process so quick and easy for our candidates and for their referees.” - Katharine Davidson, Talent Acquisition Leader at Lion


The user-friendly platform provides a way for information and feedback to be given at any time and on any device. Having the reference questions available for the referee to provide a more thoughtful response will allow for greater insight into the candidate, eliminating the disruption of back and forth phone calls and different time zones. Easy reporting also creates a more efficient means of gathering the information into a document for review which can be used to better understand the trends and learnings from your hiring process.

“The fact that Xref is so fast and simple to use for everybody involved really takes the stress and pressure out of the final stage of the process.” - Chantal Court, National Recruitment, The Interiors Group


We take data security very seriously and have many measures in place to make sure that your information is safe. Xref is ISO27001 certified, SSL Secure and GDPR Compliant. We also have two factor authentication to make sure that your account is safe. We frequently test our security to make sure that we are providing the safest platform available. Our fraud-detection system also checks multiple data point for any potential suspicious activity, like whether the reference was completed using the same IP address as the candidate. Having access to this information can help prevent potential loss by hiring someone who doesn't have the skills or qualifications they claim.

"The increased level of security has raised a number of cases of fraudulent activity which may not have been detected through the traditional reference checking process." - Michael Hill

What are some of the other benefits of using Xref?

Template Builder

All too often, we hear of HR pros and recruiters relying on a standard reference template that they use across the board, for every hire, at every level, in every country, at every office…. you get the picture!

While consistency is important for references taken on candidates for the same role, a lack of template tailoring means the reference process delivers less of the insights that make for a truly informed hiring decision.

With Template Builder, you can create a best-practice, tailored template in minutes and it’s completely free to use.

Create your own reference template

Insights and Sentiment Analysis

Xref report illustration
Key insights help you with the right decisions

Understand how quickly a reference was completed and how much content was generated to gain a better perspective of the reference provider’s opinions on the candidate.

Xref has also introduced the Sentiment analysis engine which provides employers with an increased sense of a candidate’s professional performance and suitability for a role.

The engine leverages an algorithm which examines reference responses and rates feedback positive, negative or neutral. The algorithm offers a new method of data analysis which interprets the referee’s ‘tone of voice’ for the employer. This reduces the chance that a reference is misinterpreted and provides a new indicator to detect the possibility of fraud. This added insight, allows your recruitment team to make data-driven decisions to make sure you are hiring the highest quality of candidates.

ATS Integration

Xref has broadened its capabilities through partnerships and integrations with various application tracking systems to help create a better recruitment experience.

We have integrated with systems such as:

  • LinkedIn Talent Hub
  • Expr3ss!
  • Jobadder
  • Oracle Taleo
  • PageUp
“Partnering with Xref helps to further streamline the candidate hiring experience. We will continue to work closely to ensure our customers can source, manage, and hire candidates all in one place.” - Katherine Tsay, Business Development at LinkedIn.

You can find the full list of our integrated partner software here.

Fraud Detection

Candidate fraud happens more often than you think. You don’t need to look far to find several examples in the media of senior-level candidates being caught out or even jailed for lying on their CV or faking their own references.

Xref monitors for any unusual activity during reference checking and, over one 12 month period, detected more than 7,000 cases of potential fraud. It was also revealed in our Recruitment Risk Index research that 71% of jobseekers will admit to exploiting flaws in the traditional reference checking process, while 42% admit to deliberately lying to a potential employer.

"Since implementing Xref we have had four potential fraud cases detected, some of which were for senior, GM-level roles, and one applicant was withdrawn from the recruitment process as a result." Solotel

If you are interested in finding out more about how Xref can help your hiring process, you can book in a free demo here.

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