Many Gen Z individuals and Millennials don’t stay at jobs longer than a handful of years thanks to the gig economy so it may be easy to wonder if employment reference checks are worth it in the first place. Instead of using background checks, reference checks can help you know about a candidate’s weaknesses and strengths and tell you more about how a candidate got along with past employees on the job. There are a number of reasons why the employment reference check is still important and it can be helpful during the hiring process.
Some People Stretch the Truth on a Resume
This isn’t a new trend but sometimes people are desperate. Some of the resumes can be open to interpretation. For example, some may say they have experience with Photoshop, even though they just started using it and definitely aren’t proficient in it yet enough to meet your requirement of “skilled in Photoshop.” However, someone who says they have nursing licenses should actually have a license.
A healthcare organization shouldn’t take that person for their word and hire them without verifying. There could be a lot of fallout that happens and it could be discovered too late. From the risk of brand damage to pricey lawsuits, there are a lot of harmful consequences if you aren’t careful to verify. It may seem crazy that people would lie about something so critical, but it does happen.
Verifying Trustworthiness and Reputation Is a Must
Past bosses and supervisors are going to be the best to contact when it comes to determining someone’s reputation and trustworthiness. If someone only lists former colleagues instead of past employers as references, this is a warning sign. You can also pay attention and be on the lookout for any gaps in employment references.
Help Know Your Candidate
There is more to reference checks than just verifying the experience and qualifications of your candidate. This can also be your chance to learn about work style from a manager who has also evaluated their weaknesses and strengths on a day-to-day basis on the job. Reference checks are important for risk management and the information you get from them can save you from a disaster hire or help you hire a successful candidate with your company.
You will need to keep questions job-related and remember that anti-discrimination provisions apply to reference checks, but you can also use this time to help determine who is the right cultural fit. You can frame some questions that help describe the candidate’s skills.
Ask about whether they prefer to work as part of a team or alone, their level of motivation, and whether they have stability, flexibility, and other traits your position needs. Learn what kind of working environment they prefer. These questions don’t have a wrong or right answer but can help you know whether the candidate is going to be the right culture fit, which is an important factor in finding the right person for the job.
Your Organization Is Responsible for Who You Hire
Don’t try to cut corners in order to save money and time since this could cost you a lot down the road. It’s not just lawsuits that can happen, but hiring someone who is the wrong fit can also be very damaging to employee morale.
It’s Even More Important These Days
While it has always been important to check references, it’s even more important in today’s world. It can be easy to assume that gaps in employment that started in spring 2020 are because of the pandemic. However, it’s never good to assume. Verifying employment dates with a reference check will help you make sure that you are hiring someone who is telling you the truth and not someone who is just taking advantage of the situation.
If someone lists that they stopped working in April but instead were fired at the beginning of January 2020 then there are some questions. There can be a legitimate reason, but this will be something that you need to get to the bottom of in the interview. It can be too easy for someone to say that a layoff in 2020 is due to the pandemic when they may have been terminated for a specific reason.