Phone Reference Checks Aren’t That Helpful – What Can be Done To Fix That

The latest research indicates that recruiters, referees, and employees all agree on one thing; reference checks over the phone do not add value to the recruitment process.

According to a survey by recruitment data company Xref, a phone reference check does not provide managers with the adequate information needed to make accurate hiring decisions. Xref conducted the survey on recruiters and other HR Professionals whose job roles entailed going through references. The results of the reference check survey showed that 39% of recruiters found phone reference checks to be nothing but a formality that made no major difference in a recruiting decision. 17% highlighted the reference check process as the most difficult part of the hiring process, simply because it provides no relevant benefits.

The Problem With Reference Checking

Reference checking is a time-consuming process that involves trying to reach as many as referees as possible simply to get one right candidate for a position. This is often characterized by unanswered calls and back and forth between recruiters and referees who both have other things they could be doing with their time.

An Employer’s Perspective

The process is monotonous and out of date. Years ago when it began, it seemed sensible to ask referees if what candidates had said in interviews and written in their resumes was true. As time has gone by, it has become more of a nuisance than a help to recruiters. Recruiters and companies are only using the reference check process because it is a tradition, not because it is helpful. For them, it is not about value addition to the hiring process. To make things worse, recruiters are not hiring managers. If you really think about it, it is the hiring manager who should be doing the reference check process, but for one reason or another, they hardly do. This leaves it to recruiters who do not always know what to look for when they make those calls.

The reference check process utilizes set questions, which could be decades old to check off potential candidates from their list. In most cases, the process is rigged in favor of the candidates because they get to pick their references, and they will always be given a good review even if they do not deserve it. Recruiters will not actually get a feel of who they are hiring through their references, which beats the whole point. In some cases, recruiters will not even get an opportunity to speak to the reference and will end up sending them a form via email. There are many cases where if your references are unreachable, then you are checked off the list even if you were the best candidate for the job. The position is then given to the next best candidate. The goal of the hiring process is hence diminished. Why continue with a process that is flawed?

A Candidate’s Perspective

Reference checks are often conducted after the interview process. Even if a candidate had indicated their references in their resume, they might be asked to provide them after the interview is successful. Depending on the position and industry the candidate gets to choose who to put on the resume, and even dictate what the referee will say about them. If another candidate is not so sly, then someone else will beat them to the job not because they deserve it, but because they were able to control certain factors in the process.

This presents a huge gap in the hiring process. Reference checks should just be stopped.

What Can Be Done To Fix This Problem

The good news is that this can be fixed.

The screening process is important to both the process and the company. Without adequate screening, the hiring process is compromised, and the employer will not hire the best talent. This survey should be a wakeup call for anyone who wants to improve the candidate screening process in their company and save recruiters from a time and resource-wasting process.

The recruitment process should allow referees adequate time to conduct a quality assessment on candidates and provide employers with accurate responses. Yes, this will mean spending a little more time in the hiring process, which is already time-consuming, but it will add more value than the current system of reference checks.

The Solution

Technology is the answer to this dilemma. There are many online reference checking applications that will take away the hassle and monotony of checking for references by recruiters in your company. A good example of a company that takes advantage of this technology is Check the Ref. With their technology, you can get an in-depth review of a candidate in as little as 2 days.

The process is simple. First, find an application of choice such as Check the Ref. You will be able to set up a profile on the company’s website. Then you as the recruiter will be able to invite your candidates. Once you have done this, your candidates will invite their references who will give their input on the candidate, and a report will automatically be generated for you. You will then be able to go through this in-depth analysis of your candidate and make a solid and informed hiring decision. Some applications will even take a shorter time to generate a report than it would take a recruiter to collect information from different referees and collect enough information from them. The easy interface makes it appealing to candidates and their referees. You can even get a notification when your check is complete and be able to generate the report in real time from wherever you are.

The reference checking process is tiresome, monotonous and adds no value to your company. Help your company save time and resources by embracing a convenient online reference checker application. You will be able to focus your valuable time on other important things. This process is transparent and simple with a small added cost to your organisation.

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