7 Steps For Reference Check

Reference checking is an objective evaluation of an applicant’s past job performance based on the information collected from key individuals who have known and worked with the applicant. Most employers check references as part of the hiring process.

What Is a Reference Check?

A reference check is a process a person or company uses to verify that an individual is who they claim to be, and this provides an opportunity to check and confirm the validity of someone’s education, employment history, and qualifications for a job.

It often includes their job title and description, their employment period, and details of skills, experience, and achievements.

When Should You Do a Reference Check?

When an employer is considering extending an offer to a candidate and needs additional sources of information before extending an offer, a reference check occurs.

These sources include conversations with current and previous managers and co-workers, and often include a letter of recommendation, a sample of work if applicable, verification of skill sets, and a confirmation of educational background.

The Benefits of Reference Checks

Reference Check verifies the truthfulness of the information provided by the applicant, and can avoid candidates who have a criminal background or history.

They can help identify patterns of behavior during the applicant’s time working with previous employers and can predict success in a new job.

steps for reference check

7 Steps of a Reference Check 

During a reference check, the hiring manager will confirm the information included in their CV. The interviewer can also ask about the employer’s experience in the employee reference

1. Check Background

Verifying the background of a candidate involves going through the education records and past employer details, as well as the identity, resume, and address checks. Verify the background of the candidate to learn more about the culture and values they have grown with and whether they would be a good fit for the culture of the organisation.

2. Confirm How They Know the Candidate

Confirm with the referencer to explore their relationship with the candidate, and whether they maintain the same relationship as mentioned in their resume. You have to cross-check the details about the references that your candidate provided to you. It helps when verifying who you’re actually speaking with.

3. Ask What Makes the Candidate a Good Fit

This question helps the employer to decide whether the qualification of the candidate meets the requirement that the organisation needs. Ask them whether or not they believe the reference would work well in your organisation for the role you’re offering and why.

4. How Did They Support Coworkers?

Helping in the organisation can take various forms, like training an intern, comforting a colleague in distress, or taking on extra work to complete a team project.

If the previous organisation has a competitive work culture, helping others in the workplace may not be on the top priority list. But, helping others in the workplace actually helps the person to perform better, produce better quality products, and have increased sales.

5. Ask About the Candidate’s Behavior

The effective way to hire exceptional, loyal employees who will fit into the company’s culture is to hire them for their inherent abilities.

These qualities are who the candidate is on a fundamental level. Their attitude, personality, work ethic, loyalty, and willingness to learn are the basis of who they are as people, and how they will be as employees. The candidate’s behavior is important for knowing how they react to certain situations.

6. Find Out the Candidate’s Strengths and Weaknesses

Candidates’ strengths and weaknesses can be assessed by how they approach teamwork, collaboration, and daily correspondence, like whether the applicant seeks new information about the industry.

7.  Have the Reference Rank the Candidate

The referenced rank of the candidate measures how much the candidate has to improve. You must be ready to have a variety of questions when you contact a candidate’s references. Requiring the reference to rank the candidate can give an easy way to get an honest answer from the reference check.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What happens if you fail a reference check?

If you fail your reference check and the employer is considering not hiring you, you should receive a written explanation of the reasons for them not offering you the position.

2. What do they ask for in reference checking?

Details about your skills, ability, and experience, along with details about your character, strengths, and weaknesses relating to your suitability for the new role. They also ask how often you were off work, as well as disciplinary details.

3. What causes red flags on a reference check?

A history of criminal records, robberies, or serious offenses can make it difficult to pass a reference check and can be a red flag.

4. What can you not ask in a reference check?

Do not ask about the candidate’s age, religion, or similar matters. For anything related to personal health, do not ask about the candidate’s medical history, or the existence of disabilities. You can ask whether the candidate is capable of performing the tasks that the job requires.

Closing Thoughts

A reference check process typically means a hiring manager is ready to extend an offer to a candidate, and they want one final confirmation that you are the right fit for their team. The benefit of reference checking is that they verify the truthfulness of the information provided by the candidate from the reference person.

The steps involved in a reference check are to check the background of the candidate, confirm how they know the candidate, ask what makes the candidate a good fit, how they support coworkers, have the reference rank of the candidate, find out the candidate’s strengths and weakness, and ask about the candidate’s behavior on how they reacted to a situation relating to the workplace.

A negative reference is when a former employer suggests to your potential new employer that you might not be the ideal candidate for the job by identifying abilities or experience that are missing from your skill set or explaining reasons for your dismissal from a previous role. 



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