Are You Checking References? You Should Be.

Jennifer Gladstone

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checkreferences.jpgIt’s not terribly hard to look good on paper. A nice resume can often get you in the door. There are also plenty of people who can ace an interview in their sleep. Jonathan Segal, a partner with Duane Morris in Philadelphia once told me people are perfect only twice in their lives… the day they are born and the day the interview for a job. While many of us claim to be “a good judge of character”… would you be willing to bet your company’s health on your ability?

Making a bad hire is a big mistake. A CareerBuilder survey found that 42% of companies reported a bad hire cost them at least $25,000. Another 25% said that number was more like $50,000. These numbers don’t even take into account the morale problems these mistakes can cause. According to the survey, 21% of companies said they hired poorly because they didn’t take the time to do a proper reference check.

SkillSurvey.com released some research recently that shows a good number of employers have been getting the message. They surveyed 300 professionals from business, healthcare and higher education to see how they viewed reference checking. They found that 70% of the respondents do a reference check for every single employee. When it comes to hiring executive management positions the percentage shoots up to 84%.

Doing a proper reference check does take time, depending on what you are hoping to discover. EBI has two levels of Professional Reference Checks, the Basic and the Executive Extended. With the basic check a Verifications Specialist conducts an interview with questions like these:

    • How long have you known the applicant?
    • What is your relationship to the applicant?
    • What is your general opinion on the individual?
    • What has the applicant done to show good moral character?
    • What do you consider to be the applicant's strong points?
    • In what areas do you feel the applicant can improve?
    • If you had the opportunity to work with the applicant again, would you?

The Executive Extended version will be customized by the client to address any special skills or issues. A good reference check can give you insight to make the right decision in the first place.

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Jennifer Gladstone

Posted By: Jennifer Gladstone

Jennifer Gladstone is a news anchor and journalist with more than 20 years of experience in front of the camera. She's worked in several markets, large and small, and has performed nearly every task needed in a newsroom. As EBI’s Screening News Editor, she keeps EBI’s customers and blog subscribers up to date on the latest screening news and legislative alerts affecting companies of all sizes.

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