Can We Call Your References?
Hiring the wrong employee can be costly to any organization. Data tells us that thousands of dollars are spent finding, screening, hiring, orienting and training employees. If the employee does not work out, the company may need to expend these costs once more on a replacement for the position.
Consider how much time and resources you spend creating job descriptions, identifying and finding candidates, creating interview questions, contacting and then interviewing candidates? Think about how much time and resources you put into vetting the candidate you choose. The screening and interviewing processes are important. Your experience interviewing the candidate is valid. How much time, effort, and resources, however, are you investing in checking out and verifying what the candidate has told you?
We asked HR Insider readers about their candidate background screening process. This is what we learned:
Which of the following best represents your candidate background screening process?
- Primarily only call past references
- Contact references and conduct an Internet search
- Option 2 plus an education/credential confirmation process
- Option 2 and/or 3 plus a criminal background screening
- Any of the above plus more such as credit history and/or driving record review
45% of readers rely on reference checks alone
Reference checking alone is probably the most popular candidate-vetting tool. 45% of HR Insider readers selected this option as their primary candidate background-checking tool. Only 5% of readers claimed to take the time to combine reference checking with internet screening. One quarter (25%) of readers added criminal record checks, and another quarter (25%) added a credit history or driving record checks to their process. Interestingly, no readers indicated that they verified education.
Requesting and calling a list of references is a good and legitimate way to learn more about a candidate, to confirm past employment, and to verify experiences and skills. The extra steps and costs associated with additional checks can be a barrier to many organizations and may be unnecessary. However, consider the additional benefit possibly derived from additional checks and balances.