Artisan Blog

What Really Happens During A Reference Check?

Thursday, August 11, 2011

reference-checks 

If you’ve never had to conduct a reference check for a perspective employee yourself – you may wonder what, specifically, employers ask your former managers, colleagues and friends about your work experience?

Or, if you’re a small buisness looking to expand, you might wonder what types of questions are best for checking the references of future employers.

In either case, we offer the following as a pretty standard reference check questionnaire:

  • Reference name, company and title
  • Please describe your working relationship with (potential candidate). How long did you work together?
  • How would you describe his/her working style?
  • What are his/her strengths? 
  • What set him/her apart from others in this role?
  • How does he/she face and overcome challenges?
  • How would you rate the candidate in the following areas using a 1-10 rating system (1 being Poor and 10 being Excellent)
  • Additional comments regarding any of these areas is always welcome:
    • Attendance/Reliability
    • Adherence to Deadlines
    • Conceptual Comprehension
    • Executional Capabilities
    • Knowledge of Programs/Systems
    • Leadership Qualities
    • Overall Quality of Work
    • Communication skills
  • Is he/she someone you would like to work with again?

The best way to conduct reference checks is over the phone.  However, when time does not permit, emailing these questions is acceptable.

If you are a talent submitting references to a potential employer, confirm that the contact information you provide is accurate and up-to-date. Also, make sure you notify your references that potential employers may be contacting them. 

If you doubt a reference can speak favorably about these specific areas – it might be better to address that up front or find another reference.

Other reference check questions?  Let us know!


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