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Too often Employers interview a job candidate, like them, think they’ll be a great addition and blithely offer the candidate the job. OR, they might do just one cursory reference check. Neither scenario is ideal because the odds are that without a thorough check into the employee’s previous work history, the candidate may not work out and need to be terminated OR resign quickly because they recognize they are actually not suited to the job.

Either way, the employer is then faced with the time and cost of having to recruit again.

People are great at presenting well and seeming to be just what we want when we first meet them, job candidates are no different.

Businesses cannot afford to take the risk of hiring employees without thorough reference checking with at least two (2) previous (recent) employers. Using a detailed Reference Checking form which includes questions relating to the technical skills of the candidate, their attitude, attendance record/absenteeism and personal characteristics eg a job involving sales requires someone with good interpersonal skills and the ability to close the deal.

Reference Checking formats should be customised to fit the particular job for which you are recruiting. Using the same format for each reference check also ensures you are comparing your candidates against the same criteria.

A thorough reference check should take 20-30 minutes – be mindful of this and perhaps seek permission to call the referee outside of business hours.

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