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Guide
8 min read

Reference Check: Key Criteria for Evaluating Candidates

Detailed reference checks can also reveal important information about a candidate's performance on the job, such as their ability to work well with others, their problem-solving skills, and their level of professionalism. This can help an employer make a more informed hiring decision and increase the chances of a successful hire.

When it comes to hiring a new employee, reference checking should be an essential part of the process. Reference checks are an important way to gain insight into an applicant’s past professional experiences, and can help employers determine if the individual is the right fit for the job. 

A detailed reference check can help an employer confirm the accuracy of the information provided by the candidate and get a better sense of their fit for the job.

Detailed reference checks can also reveal important information about a candidate's performance on the job, such as their ability to work well with others, their problem-solving skills, and their level of professionalism. This can help an employer make a more informed hiring decision and increase the chances of a successful hire. With that in mind, here are some key things to consider when conducting a reference check:

Professionalism: 

Ask the reference about the applicant’s general level of professionalism. Ask about the reference's attendance, punctuality, and overall work ethic. How did he or she interact with other employees and customers?



Problem-solving skills:

Ask the reference to describe how the applicant solved a particular problem or performed a specific task. This can help you determine the applicant’s problem-solving skills and ability to think on their feet.



Knowledge and experience: 

Ask the reference about the applicant’s past experience and the knowledge they gained in their previous positions. What did the employee excel at? Was he or she ever involved in a project or task that required additional outside study or knowledge?


Skills and qualifications: 

Asking about a candidate's skills and qualifications can help an employer confirm that they have the necessary skills and experience for the job. It's important to ask specific questions about the candidate's skills and how they have applied them on the day-to-day tasks

It's also a good idea to ask the reference to rate the candidate's skills on a scale or provide examples of how they have used those skills on the job. This can help you get a more detailed understanding of the candidate's abilities and how they might fit into the role.


Teamwork and collaboration:

Reference checks are also a great way to determine how well the applicant will fit in with the team. Ask about the applicant’s ability to communicate and collaborate with colleagues, and if they contributed to a positive work environment.


Performance: 

Ask the reference about how the applicant’s performance was evaluated. Ask for specific examples of the reference's performance on the job and how they contributed to the company. Did the applicant receive any awards or recognition? What were their weaknesses?


Source of the reference: 

Consider the credibility and relationship of the reference to the job candidate. A reference from a current or former supervisor is generally more reliable than a personal reference from a friend or family member. It's also a good idea to speak with more than one reference to get a well-rounded understanding of the candidate's qualifications and work history.


Reason for leaving: 

Asking about the reason for leaving can provide valuable insights into a candidate's work history and their professional conduct. If the reference left the company on good terms, it may indicate that they were a reliable and respected employee. However, if the reference left the company under difficult circumstances or was terminated, it could be a red flag and may warrant further discussion with the candidate to understand the circumstances surrounding their departure.



Ultimately, reference checks are an important component in the hiring process. Asking key questions can help employers identify a potential employee’s strengths and weaknesses, and determine if they are the right fit for the job. By considering these factors, employers can ensure they are making the right decision when it comes to hiring a new employee.

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https://www.refhub.com.au/post/what-to-look-for-in-a-reference-check
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