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Every recruiter, hiring manager, and HR professional knows the ins and outs of reference checking. It’s a practice as old as hiring, and the concept is simple: talk to the people who know firsthand what it’s like to work with a candidate before you commit to hiring them.

But sometimes it’s the most familiar things that we tend to ignore—especially when those things seem like a hassle. Most of the time with reference checking, the goal is to get through it. Gather the contact info, make the calls, leave the voicemails, follow up when you don’t hear back… And because it’s not easy, we keep it at arm’s length. We never get close enough to see reference checking in a new light.

So I challenge you to look again. You may be surprised to find there are things you don’t know about reference checking. Like why references tend to clam up if you succeed in getting one of them on the phone. Or why many companies have fallen into the habit of checking references at the end, rather than earlier in the hing process.

A recent post on answers these questions and more. Read on in 6 Things You Didn’t Know About Reference Checking.

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