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Hate making reference checks? We get it. When your calls go unanswered or references merely respond with “no comment,” it can make for an arduous process. But have no fear! We’ve decided to let you in on a few secrets to help improve the reference checking process and downgrade your high blood pressure. Stick with us as for this two-part sequence and we’re certain you’ll be pleased.

First, we’ve got to stop torturing ourselves by asking candidates for only three references. The chances that at least one out of those three people aren’t going to provide any useful feedback is high. So, let’s start asking for five references and, naturally, increase our odds for success.

In addition, we want to seek out references who really know and understand the reference. In other words, candidates should be directed to provide references who have worked with them on a day-to-day basis.  Former or current supervisors, colleagues and subordinates are all acceptable references; old college buddies and general HR staffers are not.

Beyond that, we can make the candidate’s do some of the legwork for us. Require candidates to contact each of their references, discuss the parameters of the position they are applying for, and set up a time for the recruiter to call.

By getting the candidate more involved in the process three things occur:

  1. candidates are filtered out by their level of determination and commitment
  2. references are more apt to provide in-depth information about the candidate
  3. the recruiter’s efficiency rate increases. As far as we can tell, all three of these effects are good for you, good for business.


That’s all we’ve got for today, but if you like what you’ve read so far (and you should), continue to check back for Part II and we’ll fill you in on a few other secrets we have cooking.

In the meantime if you’d like to learn about 2 minute reference checking there is a cool demo:

Click Here to Watch the Demo

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