The Hiring Experience

The Real Impact of Reference Checks on Hiring

September 07, 2023 Max & Mike Episode 9
The Hiring Experience
The Real Impact of Reference Checks on Hiring
Show Notes Transcript

Wondering if reference checks are truly effective in your hiring process? Do they offer valuable insights or merely add unnecessary time to your process? Join us, Max and Mike, as we peel back the layers on this common practice. We take a comprehensive look at the role of reference checks in hiring, their legality, the nature of questions asked, and the kind of information they collect. By the end of this episode, you'll reconsider whether reference checks should be a part of your hiring process or not.

In this episode, we delve into the biases that may be present in the references provided by candidates and the types of questions that actually add value. We also explore the implications of time-consuming reference checks on the hiring speed and offer insights on what you should focus on if you've determined reference checks to be absolutely necessary. This enlightening discussion is packed with insights that can revolutionize your approach to reference checks, streamline your hiring process, and help you attract, select, and retain the best talent. Tune in!

We love to hear your hiring experience, whether you're a hiring manager with 100s of hires, about to make your first hire, or an applicant that has a story to tell. Share your stories with Max & Mike at hiringexperiencepod@gmail.com

This podcast and the matters discussed herein are for informational purposes only and should not to be construed as advice for a particular company or person. This podcast is not intended to be a substitute for professional or legal advice.

Speaker 1:

This is the Hiring Experience the podcast that helps you break down the art and science of hiring. Hosted by Max and Mike friends, founders and creators of rapid hiring, on a mission to bring an end to the resume, bringing you tactical advice to help you attract, select and retain the best talent. This podcast and the matters discussed herein are for informational purposes only and should not be construed as advice for a particular company or person. This podcast is not intended to be a substitute for professional or legal advice.

Max:

The most requested thing at the bottom of your resume or at the bottom of your application will come in two forms the people who just provide them and the people that say they're available upon request for some reason. What we want to talk about is the overview of the reference check, what it is, why we do it, do you need it? And actually evaluating all of it together to determine if it's going to provide value for your hiring process or just lengthen it. For no reason beyond the fact that that's how we do things here, most of the reference checks that you're going to get to are for entry level positions, going to be their peers, because that's why they're entry level positions. They are people typically entering the workforce or transitioning in capacities from one industry to another. Therefore, their references are not going to be explicitly work related. They're going to be more of the character style reference. As you move up the chain, you're either going to get people that give you references that are typically going to be their former boss or former colleagues, at the most part Realizing what it is that we want to ask people and why we're asking in the first place, because, at the end of the day, there is a legal aspect of the things you can ask in a reference check, and you should always check with your local jurisdiction on what you can and cannot do in that capacity. But at the other side of that, it's just more collecting information for the sake of collecting information. We want to make sure that we focus On things.

Max:

If we've determined that, like a reference check is absolutely necessary, nobody's gonna talk you out of it.

Max:

I wanna have it because I wanna know what other people think of this person, because I can't form my own opinion on things.

Max:

So therefore, we're gonna move down the stake of I'm gonna do this reference check and, realistically, the Best question and the only question that matters is Would you work with this person again? Would you hire this person again? Do you want anything more than that? And is, if you do want anything more than that, then you're probably prodding for some other reason and it may be some gut feel that, like I don't feel like I should hire this person, which you should probably evaluate. Whether or not that's you or them, it's mostly the time. It's us then figure out what else is that we actually wanted to know, if there isn't anything else you want to know besides that. The odds are the people they're gonna give you for a reference check, or people that are gonna say, yes, that they're great and so if that's all you're gonna look for, then you can probably speed up your hiring process and just skip it all together and, to be fair, I do believe that there's some value, like I've had plenty of Form of employees who have left on great terms.

Mike:

They've left to advance their careers and other aspects, and that's totally fine, right, there's not something wrong with that. And when they call down the road, whether it be one, two, three years, what have you? And they asked if I would be willing to provide a reference check for a new career opportunity that they're pursuing. I have no problem with that. However, it is something that is to be noted that they were an employee, you know, four years ago, five years ago. I do make it explicitly clear that I will give a reference check as per my experience With them at the time. I can't speak on anything further than that because in the in the five years span, I really have no communication, no information on how things have progressed with them, with their life, with the professional development. So there is a disparity there and I'm not too sure how useful my input is for five years down the road.

Max:

Right. It's that level of again just understanding what it is you're looking to get out of this reference check and evaluating why you wanted to be a part of your hiring process for this role or any role. And it should be evaluated on an individual position basis because some roles you might find out we've had we've actually had people Tell us that we shouldn't hire them and like that. What might happen to? Extremely rare but I and so I wouldn't thank on that being a reason or finding out any massive amounts of information. And so at the end of the day, we talk and we preach about the speed of hiring, taking that real ownership of your hiring process to go as fast as possible.

Mike:

And there's an interesting point on the fastest possible thing it's. I've had reference check calls from government institutions where you know pass employees have Set me as one of their reference points and I've had to schedule the reference call for time down the road because it takes 20 minutes. I don't think that's appropriate. I don't think it's appropriate to ask 20 minutes of me to talk about somebody in that much length. I don't think it's appropriate that you haven't done your homework on that candidate, that you need 20 minutes of my time, and I don't think it's appropriate that you're going to make that candidate wait For whenever we can schedule this reference call and then evaluate that information to before you're moving them down the funnel of hiring.

Max:

Right, all all very valid points of like. This is why the other thing we haven't touched on here is that Mike just brought up is what is your reference check? Is it a person calling? Is it just an online form? Is it a simple multiple choice box? And all of that is very important, as Mike just stated, because it's sometimes now you're just delaying this hiring process based on the reference itself Because I don't have time or they don't have time to sit down, like I said, for 20 minutes to do this right now.

Mike:

And like it's an interrogation style, I don't think it's appropriate to ask somebody that much detail about someone. You should be figuring that out yourself. Nor should it be expected that the input from somebody in an interrogation style reference check to be used as criteria to evaluate a candidate.

Max:

So that might be the summer here. Stop using reference checks that interrogate references to make decisions. Yeah.

Speaker 1:

Thank you for listening to the hiring experience. We hope you enjoyed this episode and learned something new about the art and science of hiring. Don't forget to subscribe and leave a review on your favorite podcast player. This helps others discover the show. Share with a friend, colleague or anyone going through the hiring experience right now. Share your hiring experience with us at hiringexperiencepod at gmailcom.