It is important to verify information on cover letters and resumes, in a thorough manner. Verify correct spelling of the job seeker’s name, check for any pseudonyms or aliases, and verify the phone number and address. When checking references, it is important that you only obtain information that allows you to have an understanding of the specific skillset or achievements unique to that applicant. Obtaining sensitive information like compensation claims or other grievances has the potential to result in you being penalized by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

The Importance of Proper Reference Checks

There are many parts when it comes to obtaining new hires: those who look great on paper and those who shine during interviews. The ideal candidate has 2out of 2 of these factors. References allow the chance for the prospective employee to have their information solidified. Anyone can lie on a cover letter or even embellish bullet points on their resume. References lift the truth from these documents.

Orchestrating and Fielding Questions

When contacting references, make sure that you ask specific questions. The applicant’s cover letter and resume will include most of the basics. References allow you to conceptualize soft skills, like inquiring about the former employee’s integrity or work ethic. Try to ask open-ended questions that can’t be answered with a simple “yes” or “no.” Try to stay away from hypothetical questions, except when asking if the former manager will ever re-employ your candidate. The response can reveal questionable reasons to their departure, like tardiness. It can also reveal their want to rehire the candidate – which is a strength for you, as you would be fielding a highly sought after applicant.