6 Questions To Ask When Conducting Reference Checks

When hiring an employee, you always look forward to getting the most experienced, skilled, and dependable. A well-written resume and excellent employee interview practices may lure you into hiring someone without any background check, which should not be the case.

It’s always good to dig deeper about an employee from another person they have worked with before through reference checking. Doing so will help you get more information about them and know whether they gave you honest details.

By doing so, you are more likely to hire retainable employees who will take your company to the next level. Here are some of the questions you should ask when conducting reference checks. If this process seems too overwhelming for you, you can hire a professional reference checking service. Don’t skip it.

1. What Are The Strengths And Weaknesses Of The Candidate?

A potential candidate will include their strengths and weaknesses in their resume or talk about them during the interview. However, getting the same from another person is better. When you do this, you can determine the roles a candidate will be good at, if you decide to hire them.

Knowing the weaknesses of an employee through reference checking is also good since you can guide them on overcoming them or avoid assigning them roles they are not good at.

2. What Kind Of Environment Does The Candidate Perform Best In?

Apart from making sure a candidate is the right fit for your company, it’s also good to make sure your company will be a good place for them. If the environment is not suitable for an employee, they are more likely to quit after some time or even underperformance. A previous employer will be in a better position to give you answers to this question since they have interacted and learned a thing or two about the candidate. For example, if the role you have involves teamwork and the candidate doesn’t work well when in a team, they might not be a good fit for you.

3. How Do They Handle Challenges?

Challenges will always come up. Knowing how a candidate handled challenges in their previous companies will help you decide to choose them or not. How did they deal with strict deadlines? What was their way of handling tough situations? Do they display agility or rudeness when faced when their bosses challenge them? Knowing how a candidate has handled challenges helps you hire people who can handle difficult situations in the most reasonable ways.

4. Which Skills Would Make The Candidate Unleash Their Full Potential?

Even the most qualified candidates lack some skills. It’s very rare to get an employee who has all the skills needed for their roles. That’s why it’s essential to know the skills your potential candidate doesn’t possess before hiring them. If they are not skilled in a particular role you consider crucial, you can decide to go for another person. Still, you can use this information to make an employee better after assessing their willingness and commitment towards improvement.

5. Why Did They Leave Your Company?

When conducting reference checks, you might be forced to ask even some sensitive questions like why a candidate left their previous jobs. Did they leave in good or bad terms? If they left on bad terms, it might be a red flag that they will not be a good fit in your company. This helps to avoid hiring employees with questionable behaviors and to come up with ways to retain a good employee.

6. Can You Recommend This Candidate?

This is usually the last question. The answer you get will help you decide whether to hire the employee or not. However, sometimes it’s just a matter of perspective. Maybe the candidate wasn’t a good fit for their previous jobs, but they might be exactly what you need. Weigh the answer given and consider answers given to your previous questions with an open mind before coming to any conclusion. Consider the information you get from other referees as well.

Getting the right candidate for a particular role in a company involves several stages, with one of the most crucial being reference checks. Don’t be afraid to ask any other question you might have to the referees since most of them are always willing to give you the detailed information. You might also ask them to give any insight or advice concerning the said candidate. Remember, you can always know more about a person from people they have interacted with before than what they say about themselves. It’s human nature to hide the negatives and dwell on the positives.

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