Three Ways Professional References Help You Source Great Talent
Tammy Cohen, PHR, SHRM-CP
October 20 2016
While criminal records and education history can confirm a candidate’s qualifications and forecast potential security risks, there is no database available to report on an applicant’s work ethic. That’s why one of the most important services we provide at InfoMart is professional and personal reference checks.
A previous employer is going to have much more to say than what is listed on a candidate’s resume. This conversation between a previous manager and a trained InfoMart professional can shed light on whether an applicant is really the kind of talent your company wants. Here are three ways professional reference checks are necessary to help you acquire the right talent for your business:
- 1. Fact Checking – Professional references ensure that your applicant’s title and tenure are accurate. More importantly, fact checking confirms the skills and responsibilities that the candidate claims on their resume or CV and can tell you if those details have been embellished. Job titles, salary, and overall responsibilities may be misrepresented to make the applicant look more qualified on paper, but professional reference checks can catch these falsifications before you make a bad hire.
- 2. Spongy Skills – Resumes don’t always do the best job of capturing a candidate’s spongy and soft skills. Spongy skills speak more to an applicant’s adaptability, problem solving abilities, and initiative, while soft skills are characteristics such as communication and the ability to collaborate. Neither spongy nor soft skills can be assessed without having spent considerable time with an individual, so previous employers can provide unique insights that assist in hiring decisions.
- 3. Interactions with Team Members – Your company is one big team made up of smaller teams with specific responsibilities, and you rely on the knowledge that those teams work well together. However, you also understand that when a new player enters the game, there are going to be changes.People react differently when working with their peers and managers. Some employees are the type to speak up during a meeting, while others are not. Assessing an applicant’s resume may give you a clear picture of their qualifications as an individual, but provide little evidence that they are a good team player. Managers are trained to appraise how their employees interact and notice behavioral patterns, so previous employers can enlighten you to a candidate’s efficacy in team environments.