Reference check

“If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.” – Mark Twain.

Why employment reference checks are so important for NZ businesses

Good reference checking has become a necessity in today’s world of rapidly changing standards and expectations. A person’s past performance is a good indicator of how that person will perform in the future.

Today the reference check still remains the jewel in the crown and will deliver a goldmine of information when conducted well.

Imagine if you will, a screening company's mission, with no direct contact with the applicant is putting together a 1,000 piece jigsaw of an individual from a box that has no picture. The screening company's objective is to review all the claims and details provided by the applicant and to start piecing together the jigsaw that will form a picture of the applicant and confirm the accuracy or inaccuracy back to the prospective employer.

One of the keys to Employrite's success has been the process and the highly skilled approach they apply to each and every reference check. Our highly trained and experienced staff cross reference all the information provided by the applicant in minute detail and speak in depth with all previous employers and referees.

The stark reality out there in business is:

  • referees in many businesses’ are either never or rarely called
  • the task is relegated to a lower level employee untrained in reference checking at all
  • most people don’t like doing the job, so its difficult to be good at something you don’t enjoy doing
  • many people simply lack the awareness and knowledge about the quality of information that can be obtained.

Employrite works with a wide range of NZ businesses

In the event that a reference checking is conducted, very frequently the person can lack the time, skills and experience to ask the right questions to obtain the relevant information. Hiring Managers and even recruiters or outplacement recruitment company staff can lose objectivity through this exercise. Many unknowlingly or knowingly adopt a bias that supports their original decision to hire or because of a vested interest in the outcome of the hire.

By contrast Employrite Reference Checkers not only have the training and expertise, they have a positive feeling about the task and love nothing better to check the claims of the applicant by speaking to the direct report. They never meet the applicant and are therefore not influenced by a great interview or any aspects about the person. They engage the referee asking all the relevant questions and in turn actively listen and apply their well honed skills about what is said as well as what is not being said. They probe to clarify and probe some more. Employrite consider Reference checking to be something of an art and placed in the right hands can return all manner of information that is cross reference with those claimed by the applicant. Very frequently more is revealed to the prospective employer than was ever imagined.

A well conducted reference check will provide the prospective employer with valuable insight and will test the accuracy of the information put forward and the honesty of the applicant. Employrite investigators have a combined 150 + years of experience in this field.

The most frequent discoveries in reference checking are:

  • Inflated Job Title i.e. Claim a higher role than they were in
  • Expanded dates of employment - frequently to hide another employer or gap in employment or even a stretch in prison
  • Inflated salary/wage claim
  • Reason for leaving - Sometimes an employee has left under a cloud and would not be re-employed under any circumstances. Sometimes individuals have stolen or defrauded the company or simply been so unreliable or unsuitable that they have been let go. Many suffer from drug and alcohol problems that impacts their reliability and attendance at work
  • Listing companies as previous employers they know have gone out of business
  • Listing Colleagues instead of the person they directly reported to
  • Staging friends as previous employers

Reference checking is an aggressive, proactive way to reduce turnover and build a high quality workforce. Reducing turnover has a huge impact on the bottom line.

Do it right the first time

What you learn up front is only what you will find out three months, six months, or a year or so after he or she has been working for you. So isn’t it better to discover the information sooner rather than later and proactively address the situation, not just react to it later on?

Benefits of solid reference checking

  • Reference checking provides clear testimonials to support your decision to hire a particular person or uncovers information that indicates the claims are not accurate and the hire would be inappropriate
  • The reference check may provide additional evidence of accomplishments or reveal factors that were not covered in the interview
  • Reveals the honesty and accuracy of the applicant's claims
  • Provides an aggressive and proactive way to reduce turnover and build a high quality workforce
  • By making the right decision first time saves on the bottom line and easily funds the employment screening process

It is our professional perspective and those of our clients that a company disadvantages themselves when retaining reference checking and allocating the other background checks to a ascreening company. We can add the most value when we have all the core information and then cross reference every article of information.

Contact us today to find out more about our affordable reference check services.

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