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Job Seeker References: To Check Or Not To Check?

posted on: 2012-07-17

To some in the hospitality and tourism industries, checking references is a waste of time. There may be some validity to the argument considering the high percentage of employee turnover that may occur within a tourism season. So, is it worthwhile to check references?


A second step of assurance

You’ve interviewed a candidate that’s answered all your questions to your satisfaction, you get a good feeling about them as a person and their resume is an impressive collection of their qualifications and accomplishments. You’re quite sure that this candidate is the right person for the job

Checking references will help you accomplish two things.

One, it will corroborate everything the candidate told you in the interview and two, it will weed out those who may interview well, but whose past performance may not be all that you’ve been led to believe. References will let you know straight away if your ‘hunch’ about a person is correct, or way off the mark.

What To Ask

When calling a prospective candidate’s references, ask open-ended questions. You want a more in-depth picture of the person’s performance and getting simple yes or no answers won’t help.

Speak to a previous manager of the employee and find out what their role was, how long they were with the company and the reason they left. One of the most important things to ask is ‘would the company re-hire the person?’ and listen carefully to what is not being said.

Is the person you’re speaking to full of energy and enthusiasm for the person you’re inquiring about, or are they answering your questions in a brusque and hurried manner? What were the employees duties and responsibilities? Did they go above and beyond what was required of them, or did they just do the bare minimum? Were they always on time for work, or were tardiness and absenteeism a problem?

These are just a few things that will let you know straight away if you’re on the right track with the candidate you wish to hire.

You Get Out What You Put In

After calling your candidate’s references you will know, with certainty, whether or not the candidate you interviewed will truly be a good fit for your company. This will save you time and money by not having to go through the expense of hiring another person in a few weeks time.

Checking references will ensure that the candidate you want is what he/she appears to be on paper and in person, making the process of hiring the person a win-win situation for both of you.


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