Checking Refs Like a Pro

It takes time, but it’s worth the investment. When hiring you should be pretty thorough in checking references. To get the best information be sure to email the reference and ask permission to talk with them about the candidate. Be sure to mention that everything talked about will be completely confidential and that your goal is to figure out how best to utilize the candidate’s skills. Be courteous and respectful of the person’s time.

It’s rare to get negative feedback in a reference check, but pay attention to indifference and you shouldn’t be catching the reference completely off guard. The candidate should have made all of their references aware that they might be called upon.

Michael Solomon who writes for the Huffington Post created these ten questions that we feel really nail it.

1. In what capacity do you know the candidate (checking for consistency for what the candidate told you)?
2. What were the candidate’s best qualities and how did that manifest itself in their work product?
3. What is their single biggest strength or best quality?
4. Do you remember a time they did something that was really amazing and helped them stand out as a great employee?
5. What are their weakest areas? How can you best support these deficiencies and help them grow?
6. How should the candidate be managed to optimize their strengths and minimize their weaknesses? Give some explanations of what you mean by this (micro management, left to their own devices, inspired, given lots of responsibility, etc.)
7. Is there anything that really stood out about the candidate?
8. Compared to other people in this job, how did they rank on a scale of 1-10 and why?
9. What else should I know? What didn’t I ask that would be good to know to help this person succeed?
10. Would you hire the person again?

You really want to ensure you’re hiring the right people, so be sure to take some time with this process. Companies that need to ramp up quickly should still follow processes. Hopefully this article makes it easier to get your ducks in a row and hire the best.

About NextGen

NextGen is the brainchild of longtime telecom professionals with nearly 50 years of experience and millions of dollars in Telecom Recruiting Services. We focus on establishing long term relationships with our clients and candidates so we can recruit the best and the brightest in the telecom industry. This ‘quality over quantity’ approach is at the heart of everything we do and has resulted in successful job placements at Fortune 1000 firms worldwide.

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