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Xref Makes the Reference Checking Process Quick and Easy | Lion

“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

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“Xref has made the reference checking process so quick and easy for our candidates and for their referees.”


References completed out of hours


Avg. Reference turnaround time


The success rate on reference completion using Xref

Tell us a bit about you and Lion

I've been working in recruitment now for over a decade in the UK and in Australia. I came into recruitment doing high-volume retail recruitment where we would call all the references ourselves, so when I used Xref for the first time in my previous role, I was astounded that we hadn’t started using it earlier. It saved us so much time!

Lion is one of Australasia’s largest food and beverage companies and my current role is Talent Acquisition Leader. We do everything from entry-level to executive-level recruitment across all functions, including supply chain, sales, marketing, and all of our corporate functions. We recruit around 600-700 roles externally each year and use Xref for almost all of them. 

My favourite thing about the role is the people. I really enjoy giving people great opportunities and making a difference to the business. After all, a business is only as successful as the people and teams it has onboard. I love that as our role as recruiters evolves with technology, it’s becoming more and more about the people and less about the admin. 

What recruitment challenges do you usually face in the food and beverage industry?

Diversity is definitely one of our biggest challenges, especially given a lot of our employees are in manufacturing. We’re also in the beer industry, which is commonly associated with being more male-dominated. 

Another challenge is broadening the range of industries we source talent from. We are really well known in the food and beverage industry, but as a company with big growth ambitions, we’d like to bring in talent from different areas to get a fresh perspective.

Something else we’re working through company-wide is thinking about the skills we’ll need in the future and looking at ways we can attract people with those skills,  or build them internally. 

Given the current COVID-19 crisis, what challenges are now arising for you and your team?

Even though we are still hiring, we’ve had to put a number of our roles on hold while we create a new normal. An important challenge we’re working through right now is creating a great virtual process that also takes into consideration how people may be feeling about taking on a new role during this uncertain time. We want to ensure we continue to provide the best candidate experience possible, right through the hiring journey to the onboarding process. This raises challenges such as getting equipment out to people and making sure we maintain a high level of engagement with employees who are working from home. 

Thankfully, we already have very robust recruitment processes in place and have a lot of great tech implemented to help make the whole experience smoother. 

Right now our tech stack includes; 

  • HireVue for pre-recorded interviews 
  • Enboarder for our onboarding process 
  • Xref for references 
  • Fit2Work for background checks
  • Skype and Zoom to stay connected 

With all this already in place, we were fortunate to be in a good place to adapt quickly.

Tell us about your experience using Xref, what have been the main benefits?

When I first joined Lion, we didn’t have Xref but it was implemented within my first few months. I’ve been using the platform for about five years now and I think it’s great, particularly when it comes to high volume recruitment. Xref helps to turn around references very fast. As recruiters, we need to have so many skills across a range of different areas, such as coaching leaders and online sourcing of candidates, for example. Having a tool like Xref that simplifies our process and automates parts of the role adds a lot of value and helps us to improve the overall candidate experience.

Before we implemented Xref, we were just using one Word template for all our roles that we’d fill in every time we made a call. It’s been great having the chance to really fine-tune our experience with Xref and customise our templates to suit different roles. For example, we now have a very short template in place for our entry-level roles and that has certainly helped increase our turnaround time. 

We’ve had a few experiences where Xref has flagged some suspicious activity and we really like that it gives us a chance to talk to the candidate and clear up any misunderstandings. It adds value to our process knowing that an extra level of security is in place, even if we don’t need to use it too often.

Having used Xref for so long now, I’ve become used to this simple way of handling the references. What’s been really great, is being able to work closely with the Xref team to customise and fine-tune our process, making small, continual improvements that add more value along the way.  Next, we’re looking to turn on People Search to help source and engage with passive talent that may be interested in future opportunities at Lion.

For us, the biggest impact of Xref has been on our candidate experience. It has made the reference checking process so quick and easy for our candidates and for their referees. Xref also frees up our recruiters’ time to focus on other activities that really add value rather than the more admin heavy task of calling references.

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  3. Automating Reference Checks Enables Krispy Kreme to Make More Insightful Hiring Decisions

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