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:

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. 

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.

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.

Professional references have a much larger role in the hiring process than many people believe. They provide a subjective opinion of an applicant that is not your hiring manager’s sole opinion and paint a more well-rounded picture of the potential employee for assessment.

With a professional background screening company like InfoMart, references also contribute another layer of due diligence for your company. For an opinion you can confirm, references are the answer. For an opinion you can trust, InfoMart is the screening provider to use.

About Tammy Cohen

Tammy Cohen, an industry pioneer and expert in identity and employment screening, founded InfoMart 30 years ago. Deemed the “Queen of Screen,” she’s been a force behind industry-leading innovations. She was most recently the first-to-market with a fully compliant sanctions search, as well as a suite of identity services that modernizes talent onboarding. Tammy revolutionized the screening industry when she stepped into the field, developing the first client-facing application and a due diligence criminal search that has since become standard for all background screening companies. Cohen has received national awards and honors for her business and civic involvement, including Atlanta Business Chronicle’s Top 25 Women-Owned Firms in Atlanta, Enterprising Women Magazine’s Enterprising Women of the Year award, the YWCA of Northwest Georgia’s Kathryn Woods Racial Justice Award, and a commendation in the 152nd Congressional Record. To learn more about Tammy, visit

About InfoMart

InfoMart has been revolutionizing the global background and identity screening industry for 30 years, providing businesses the information they need to make informed hiring decisions. They develop innovative technology that modernizes talent onboarding, including a first-to-market biometric identity authentication application and a verified sanctions search. The WBENC-certified company is a founding member of the Professional Background Screening Association, and they have achieved PBSA accreditation in recognition of their consistent business practices and commitment to compliance with the FCRA. The company is dedicated to customer service, speed, and accuracy, and it has been recognized for its success, workplace culture, and corporate citizenship with over 45 industry awards. To Get the Whole Story on InfoMart, please visit, follow @InfoMartUSA, or call (770) 984-2727.

Pin It on Pinterest