Time to Read: 3 minutes
Reference Check Summary:
- Four types of references to ask for.
- Three references should be spoken to thoroughly.
- What questions to ask during the reference check phone call.
- What questions to avoid in a reference check.
Reference checks do not need to feel daunting. Save the below guide on how to conduct a reference check.
Who should I be calling for a candidate reference check?
- Direct Manager – someone who directly onboarded, trained, managed, and reviewed the candidate.
- Coworker – someone who worked directly with the candidate but did not manage them.
- Vendor – someone who worked with the candidate as their client.
- Client – someone who worked with the candidate as their vendor.
How many people should be contacted for a quality reference check?
You should call on a minimum of three references for each finalist in the interview process. Indeed.com lends the advice that an “employer may be able to form a thorough impression [of the candidate] after listening to diverse perspectives. However, the number of references required may depend on the role and the company.”
What information do I need for each reference check?
Request the candidate to supply the following contact information for each reference. Researching the reference prior to the call may lead to a fruitful discussion and better check for accuracy in the reference story.
- First and last name
- Job title
- Name of the employer
- LinkedIn URL
- Email address
- Phone number
- Relationship to the candidate
What questions to ask during the reference check?
- What company did you work with [candidate name] at?
- What was your title and role at the time?
- What was your relationship with [candidate name]?
- What dates did you work together?
- What were some work examples or projects of [candidate name] that stand out?
- What tools/technologies were used for the job?
- How would you rate the quality of their work?
- Did you manage [candidate name] goals or reviews?
- Was [candidate name] responsive and dependable?
- Was [candidate name] proactive or forward thinking?
- Do they work with a sense of urgency?
- Did they take direction and feedback well?
- Where they collaborative and part of the solution?
- What areas do you see for growth, training, or improvement?
- What was the reason for leaving?
- Do they have good listening and communication skills?
- Do they work well independently or was supervision a large requirement?
- Did you observe something that motivated [candidate name]?
- Do you feel that [candidate name] can make an impact for the job we are hiring for?
- Do you have any other comments to add?
What questions to avoid asking in a reference check?
- Questions around race, religion, sex, nationality, weight, financial status, and age.
- Does the candidate have any children?
- Does the candidate have childcare arrangements?
- Is the candidate pregnant or plan to become pregnant?
- What is the relationship status of the candidate?
Reference Check Assistance with Profiles
Profiles is an award winning creative and marketing staffing agency in the USA. We conduct thousands of reference checks each year for over 100 job titles on behalf of our clients. If you have interest in learning more about our community of professionals available for contract, contract-to-hire, direct hire, or managed services, then please inquire here, and the appropriate person will be in touch within one business day.