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Candidate Reference Checks

Candidate Reference Checks: How to verify a reference

Sep 21, 2020

Is your company keen on performing reference checks before making that job offer? Certainly it's worth the time you invest to make those calls, instead of paying the costs of a bad hire...but you need to ask the right questions in order to get the intel on what that candidate is like while on the job. Typically, your background check company includes the authorization forms to perform background screening and reference checking, but if they don't, make sure to let your candidate know you are going to perform reference checks on them.

In order to get solid references back, it is fair to ask your candidate for names, emails and phone numbers of former managers from the companies listed on their CV. You can cross check this on LinkedIn as well.

Here's a list of common questions we ask here at Makena Staffing -

What was the candidates role at your company?

When and how long did they work with you?

What was your role at the time, and did they work directly for you?

What were some of their major projects they led and other accomplishments? What was their ability to get projects done on time, and how would you describe their time management skills?

How would you rate their effectiveness in this role?

How would you rate their technical competence (if applicable)

What is the best way to manage them? i.e. Micro-managed, given clear objectives, given some autonomy etc.

How was their social experience there, did they fit in with the culture?

How did they overcome challenges, issues, or strong personalities?

What were they great at and which improvements would you put top of the list?

How was their ability to accept constructive criticism?

Were they one of your top 3 performers?

This next one is a sure truth teller: Are they eligible for rehire?

Why did they leave the position?

I hope this helped someone in some way :-)

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