Recruitment Risk Index: Canadian Industry Perspective

Learn about the risks faced by Canadian recruiters today

Xref, the cloud-based candidate referencing platform, was launched in 2011 by experienced HR and recruitment professionals. It was developed to address a key industry issue: the inefficiency, inconsistency and vulnerability of the traditional phone-based reference checking process. With hundreds of reference checks passing through the platform every day, Xref is confident the solution it offers clients helps to tackle reference checking pain points and helps clients understand their industry, market, their talent pool, and the solutions available to them. 

Xref commissioned research, to delve into the culture of Canadian job seekers and HR professionals. The study explored the dynamic between the general public and the recruitment/HR industry within the context of applying for jobs, making sound hiring decisions and using reference checks as a critical cross-checking tool. 

The Xref Recruitment Risk Index: a Canadian Industry Perspective shines a spotlight on a significant industry issue that is putting Canadian organisations at risk. The report identifies how the industry is losing out by using a largely outdated approach to reference checking, as well as how flaws in the current system are impacting the industry and Canadian job seekers alike.

The research was able to identify six important points:

  • Unmeasured Talent Loss - Canada has a busy hiring marketplace. Three quarters of the study’s job seeking respondents said they applied for at least two jobs in the last two years, while 27 per cent applied for more than 7 jobs within that same timeframe. 
  • Employment Referencing “Black Hole” - There is a lack of communication during the process which is leaving candidates in the dark about the progress of their application. 
  • Reference Lie Detectors - HR professionals are feeling deceived. Close to 7 in 10 HR professionals reported feeling fairly confident that they were being lied to as they conducted reference checks over the phone.
  • Social Sleuthing - The research found that the social media content and online reputations of job seekers can make or break job offers. What was surprising however was the platform HR professionals admitted to resorting to for that information
  • Unleveraged Data & Value Hypocrisy - The report uncovered a potentially troubling value hypocrisy in reference checking. While reference checking is considered important and is highly valued, it’s also often reported to be inconvenient when the tables are turned and HR personnel assume the role of referee. 
  • Reference Fatigue - Ninety-two per cent of Canadian job seekers said their most recent job applications had been made directly with the employer – indicating that the time-consuming process of collecting and administering reference checks is placed solely on the in-house recruitment team, some of whom may not be fully qualified to take references.

The surveys also revealed that:  

  • 33% of job seekers reported to walking away from an opportunity due to recruitment delays
  • 34% of HR professionals admitted their organisation does not reference consistently
  • 68% of Canadian HR professionals believe they have been lied to during phone references
  • 60% of HR professionals search online or on social media for information on candidates

This study reveals a critical need for the Canadian HR Industry to adopt a transparent, standardised reference checking process.

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Take advantage of this great resource to help gain valuable insight into the challenges that are reported within the Canadian HR Industry and identify the opportunity to create a more consistent hiring process.

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