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Conducting Reference checks

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Conducting Reference checks


I am looking for some help as to where to look to find a 'script' in relation to conducting reference checks.

Is there a specific checklist of statements/questions that must be asked prior to conducting a reference check with a referee in relation to whether or not they agree to they responses being provided to the candidate?

Any help is appreciate.

Its nothing fantastic, but essentially what I state/do during a


Its nothing fantastic, but essentially what I state/do during a reference.

1. Check with candidate that they are happy for you to make contact with their referees.
2. Plan your call in advance, but be flexible. The conversation may not proceed exactly as
planned. As with interviewing, reference checking gets easier with practice.
3. Introduce yourself immediately, stating your position, the organisation and explain the
purpose of your call.
4. Ask if the referee is available for discussion, and if not, arrange a time to call later.
5. Mention that the candidate is one of several being considered for a position in your
organisation and confirm the accuracy of the employment information provided by the
candidate (e.g. dates of employment, job duties).
6. Confirm that the referee is comfortable that the information disclosed is covered by the
Federal Privacy Legislation.
7. Follow the questions in the Reference Checking Template. Take notes as the referee speaks.
8. As with interviewing, be ready to probe for further information.
9. Don’t end the conversation until you have sufficient information. Use summary statements to
clarify ambiguous answers.
10. Thank the referee for their time and help.

Privacy Act Compliance:

We appreciate your assistance with information of this candidate who has given permission to validate their work history with you as a referee. The information provided will be subject to the provisions of the Privacy Act.

1. Do you consent to this information being made available to the client?
2. Do you consent for your identity as the referee to be disclosed to the client?
3. Do you consent to having this information being made available to the candidate?

Adding to wmacfoy's points,

Adding to wmacfoy's points, it is always a good idea to describe your job to the referee and ask him/her if, in their opinion, the candidate will be able to handle the job. You are talking to someone who has worked with the candidate so should know their weaknesses. I have found this can elicit some interesting feedback you may not have got otherwise.
The key to reference checking is listening, in particular listening to what the referee may NOT be saying. As being too negative or too positive can get a referee into strife, listening and reading between the lines can often make or break the check.
Finally, a good rule of thumb is, during the interview with the candidate, ask them if it is OK to speak to their nominated referees but also check the referee information provided is up to date - onus should be on the candidate to find for you the latest telephone number for a referee. Candidates may not want their current employer called (in case they don't get the job), but if there are no other suitable referees to call, this can be a problem - one company I was with a while ago, on one occasion insisted on calling the current employer anyhow - fortunately the guy got the job!

Take 2 minutes to do a google

Take 2 minutes to do a google search on the referees as well, facebook profiles and the like are plentiful these days and it doesn't hurt to check they are who the candidate says they were.

One of the worse dismissals I had to go through turned out to have the employee's sister (who was married with a different surname) and another relative as the referees. Took me 2 minutes online to discover this connection and to see the referees had never worked with the employee, or had held any of the positions they were purported to. Unfortunately this 2 minutes was spent 5 months after they had been employed.

It won't happen often, but if you have the time it can save you weeks of hassle.

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