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5 Pieces Of Advice To Follow When Verifying Candidate References

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Deciding which job candidate is best suited for the job opening within your company is hardly ever easy. This is because the process can be very tedious and time-consuming. When you get to the point to where you are checking references of potential candidates, do you know what to do in order to protect yourself and your business while also ensuring that you get the most effective information? Here are five tips:

1. Always Opt to Check References by Phone.

While you could save some time on your end by sending out an e-mail questionnaire to the references of your potential candidate, it sort of defeats the purpose. Ultimately, by calling the reference, you can communicate at a much faster and easier pace. Plus, it's more direct and effective, which ensures that the reference is truly valid.

2. Avoid Asking Questions of Discriminatory Nature.

There are certain questions that you simply cannot ask – not legally, anyway. So, to avoid employment discrimination and a possible lawsuit, you will want to ensure you avoid asking any questions that relate to the prospective candidate's age, race, gender, religion or physical disability.

3. Don't Mess with Personal References.

Some employers ask for personal references, and others don't. Try to be one of those that don't. Personal references tend to include best friends, parents, spouses, etc. These references are utterly a waste of time because you know that you are going to receive a positive, and likely embellished, reference. Work-related references are what you need and should focus on. After all, they can attest to the character of the potential candidate in a work environment.

4. Try to Validate as Much Information as Possible.

You wouldn't believe how many people embellish information on their resumes. According to a FindLaw.com survey, roughly eight percent of Americans exaggerate to some extent on their resume. This has led to many of them losing their jobs later on when the information was discovered to be false. For that reason, it is crucial that you dig deep and verify everything that you can. This includes everything from the candidate's education to dates of employment.

5. Don't Only Request Supervisor References.

Most employment applications request the names of a candidate's supervisor at each job. These are often used as the primary references. However, it can help to speak to a wide variety of individuals, including co-workers and subordinates. Any person who can vouch to the work performance of the candidate can be useful in helping you determine whether this is a worthy candidate for hire.

Remember, the more information you have, the better you have avoid liability issues in the future. If all of this seems too much for you to handle, you may want to consider leaving all of this up to an employment screening company.  

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23 December 2015