Xref events

Helping RecruitR Identify Great Talent for Specialist Roles

Read how RecruitR uses Xref to hire for a range of engineering specialist roles.

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"Even though my clients trust me, it's golden to have someone explain in their own words exactly what a candidate is like."


References completed outside of business hours

30 hrs

Avg. turnaround time


Avg. number of words per report

Mahlah Ludekens, director of RecruitR has matched building services professionals to their ideal roles since 2002. We caught up with her to hear how Xref has helped speed up the recruitment process when hiring for a range of engineering specialist roles.

Tell us about RecruitR

RecruitR was set up in 2007; we specialise in engineering recruitment for building services and the civil, structural environment. I manage building services; that includes mechanical, electrical hydraulics, fire protection, acoustics, sustainability, and vertical transportation roles. Usually, the type of roles that we're recruiting for requires highly specialised skills.

What challenges do you face?

When hiring for ANZ, many clients want locally experienced people with specific standards and experience, and finding the right talent is hard in the specialist space. Particularly now that the construction market has become so competitive and a whole lot busier with clients requiring candidates from very specific disciplines.

Why did you introduce Xref and what do you use it for?

We hire for a variety of engineering roles, and I now use Xref for most of them. In the past, I haven’t done a lot of bulk recruitment but I had the opportunity to do some apprenticeship recruitment for a key client and we had an overwhelming number of candidates coming through that we needed to screen and reference, so that was when we signed up with Xref. We also have many overseas candidates or those from different backgrounds who need to be reference checked. 

What do you like about Xref?

The biggest advantage of using Xref is the wealth of detail that the referee puts in for the candidate, in their own words, leaving no grey areas. When you are providing references to clients, you want to give them access to all the information a referee provides. It can be more difficult typing notes when talking to a referee on a phone call, to ensure information is captured and not lost in translation.

How were you doing reference checks before Xref?

I have a standard reference check format that has worked and remained pretty much unchanged for the last 20 years. I use the same format now just online through Xref. 

What are the main benefits you’ve experienced?

It saves me a lot of time, particularly for overseas references. We don’t have to stay up until odd hours, chasing referees and trying to fit calls into different time zones. I can also reference check candidates earlier in the process, which is helpful in some situations where there could be a conflict of interest for them.

Another benefit is that referees can sit back, put some thought into their feedback and provide the reference at their convenience. With Xref, many of them come back outside of business hours, which makes the turnaround times great.

Can you describe the impact Xref has made on your business?

Xref is an extremely useful tool. I would previously spend so much time following up on references, missing phone calls, trying to catch up, organising my day, and then typing out the notes and going through them to make sure my grammar and spelling is correct.

Xref has helped me save a lot in terms of the opportunity cost when you look at the amount of time I have back in my week. Now, I can spend that time doing other things as a 360 recruiter running my own business.

Even though my clients trust me, it's golden to have someone explain in their own words exactly what a candidate is like.

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