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How Xref provides speed, convenience and security | APG & Co

APG & Co reviews Xref's online reference checking software across 300+ fashion retail stores. Results include a reduced time-to-hire and improved data management.

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"Xref has breathed new life into our hiring process.”


52% of references are completed outside traditional business hours


Candidates referenced annually using Xref


It takes, on average, just 30 hours to turnaround references

What drove you to switch from manual to automated reference checking?

For more than 60 years, APG & Co. have been behind some of Australia’s most iconic fashion brands including Sportscraft, Saba and Jag.

In order to provide optimal customer service, APG & Co rely on having the best team possible representing the group at their Support Office and Retail stores.

We had come to realise that when seeking references, the necessary caution had become time-consuming. In recent years, reference checking had become a pain point fraught with risk, weighing down resources and slowing our hiring process.

In the fast-paced environment we now live and work in, time is a luxury. We were finding that the time and resources (often of the retail store managers) used chasing references, who were often uncontactable during traditional trading hours, had become a shared frustration that was felt industry-wide.

What was your brief for Xref?

Given that employees in our industry typically operate outside of traditional business hours, we needed a referencing solution that would not only ease the burden on store managers, but also make it simple and convenient for referees to provide feedback in their own time.

What has been the outcome of using Xref?


Requesting a reference now takes just 15 seconds. Xref has become a staple tool used for the recruitment of every employee across our 300+ stores in Australia and New Zealand, setting a new standard for hiring across the group.


Taking the process online also saves time and distraction for referees who work on shop floors, as it allows them to respond at a time that works for them. The legwork is also taken away from the time-constrained HR team as responsibility is now on the candidate to drive the responses.


Xref provides us with a previously unachievable layer of security. While we have never been subject to a high volume of fraudulent hires, the Xref platform now provides the comfort that any fraudulent reference attempts will be identified, and a number already have.

We also enjoy the assurance that we are complying with data privacy regulations, a risk we hadn’t sufficiently acknowledged when referencing in the past.

Data and Performance Management

Before Xref, we were calling referees directly. But, we found that these phone references provided us with limited, inconsistent and insufficient data to make great hiring decisions.

The data provided by Xref helps us to better understand the strengths and weaknesses of new employees before they join us. We are now able to plan our training and management requirements to support the growth and development of each employee.

The insights generated also prevent us from ruling out candidates that may not “tick all the boxes” on paper, but have most of the key skills required for the role.

As omni-channel shopping becomes the norm, our industry has never been in more need of a competitive edge. We believe that new technologies are the solution to staying ahead of the crowd, both on the shop floor and in Support Office.

Xref has breathed new life into our hiring process by offering a customisable, nimble and flexible solution. We now have the ability to gather accurate, honest and insightful feedback in a fraction of the time it would traditionally take and without any of the associated risks.

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