Reference Checking Tips for Candidates
min read

Reference Checking Tips for Candidates


Reference Checking Tips for Candidates 

What's the next step after you've given that nail biting interview? It's a thorough check by your prospective employer on your employment history to verify if the information in your in-person interview is as you say it is. 

Most recruiters prefer an online reference checking mechanism which replaces the manual intervention of calling up referees to verify information shared at the time of an interview.  If you’re curious about the process and would like some advice, we’ve put together some tips and insights about online reference checking to help you out. Be mindful that the recruitment process for the company that you’re applying to could be different.

What really happens in an online reference checking process

Step 1: Your prospective employer sends you a link where you need to fill in the details of your referees along with their contact details and the dates you’ve worked with them. 

Step 2: You fill in the required details. Be sure to inform your references in advance that they will be receiving an email to avoid any delays or declines. Occasionally the email can end up in the wrong folder, so it’s important that your referee is expecting the email.  

Step 3: You click on submit and wait for the automated reference check to complete its course.

An online reference check link includes questions about your employment history such as roles and responsibilities managed, work ethic, capability of handling certain tasks, etc. The objective of the recruiters and hiring managers is to gauge is you’re the right fit for the role based on your past work history. Online reference checking is becoming the norm in the process of recruiting. Since the process is online, automated and can be done outside of working hours, referees are happy to submit the information required. 

Once your referees submit details, both you and your prospective employer will receive an email notification. The employer will then be in touch with you regarding the next steps in the hiring process. Most often employers ask for 2-3 references. 

What is a professional reference?

A professional reference is a reflection on a candidate's performance from a person who can vouch for the qualifications for a particular job. Typically a person who has worked closely with you in one of your past roles and can affirm your productive capacity and skills. If you are a recent graduate you could ask your professors or coaches. Volunteering references are acceptable too, however it is a good idea to first check with the volunteer organisation if they would be willing to provide a reference as sometimes it might be against their policy.

Keeping it authentic

Here are some people you can include on your list of professional references. 

  • Former employer
  • Former supervisor
  • Former colleague
  • Organisations you’ve volunteered for

Unsure if your references are appropriate? Maybe it's a good idea to recheck with the recruiter who you’re in touch with. Personal contacts such as immediate family members (spouse, siblings) and BFF’s may not be such a great idea to give as references. Don't forget to inform your referees in advance that they will be receiving an email to avoid any delays or declines. Here is a post on FAQ’s your referees may have. 

Faking a reference is a bad idea

Most online reference checking solutions abide by strict compliances and are built to detect and flag any fraud. These red flags come under the employers radar and could dampen your prospects with the employer. Fraud references may have short term and long term implications, we suggest you avoid creating fake profiles or references. Here is a blog for employers on how you can avoid bad hires.

Final Thoughts

With a surplus in job applications and candidates vying for the same role, average candidates will be sending their CV’s at the same rate as top talent. Added to that is the challenge of virtual hiring, which pushes recruiters to tighten their HR operations. Reference checks are due diligence done by recruiters to ensure that they hire the right candidate for their organisation. They are not the reason to disqualify a candidate; they simply reconfirm facts shared by the interviewee. A good reference will strengthen the candidates position about what is said about them from their former work relationships. Get a reliable referee and added benefits follow!

If you’d like to know more about online reference checking, be sure to check out some of our other blogs. We’ve been in the recruitment industry for almost a decade and have heaps of recruiter and candidate insights on reference checking. Xref is an online reference checking platform designed to be user friendly both for the candidate and the recruiter to fast track the candidate hiring process. 

More resources available

Xref Online Reference Checking FAQs for Candidates

Xref Online Reference Checking FAQs for Employers

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