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Referencing in recruitment is part and parcel of the process, but did you know there are a few small changes that can turn your reference from a good one into a great one?
A recruitment agency will undertake the referencing for you as part of the service but not all references are created equal. In order to get the most out of your reference, use the agent to personalise it, cover the key competencies for your role and to guide you around the legal limits regarding questioning.
Here are our 5 top tips for ensuring you get what you need out of a reference and always back a winner.
Ask your recruiter to tailor it.
Every agency will have a reference template, but did you know you can ask to personalise it for your role? The reference is an opportunity to dig a little deeper into things that may have come up in the interview process or the testing. Even the best interviewers have bad days so utilising the reference in this way can help eliminate doubts and concerns.
Use it to cross-check information and verify details.
Similar to the above point, a reference is a great opportunity to verify any details that you may need to know for the role at hand. Do they need experience working on a particular project? Get the agent to ask appropriate questions to verify the information you have been given. This isn’t about catching people out but more about adding a further level of security to your decision making.
Consider doing them slightly earlier in the process.
Referencing can often feel like an afterthought. You’ve found the perfect match and offered the role, the referencing is just a formality. But have you considered taking the reference earlier in the process and using it as part of the interview? Now, we are not saying reference everyone on your shortlist, however, if you are struggling to decide between two candidates and you need to dig a little deeper to help with that decision, a reference could be the answer.
Outsourced reference companies will provide a reference but how personalised will this be? The questions will be asked, the boxes will be ticked however a good recruiter should be trained to listen for pauses and tone and to probe further where things don’t seem quite as obvious as they sound.
Do you have any follow-up questions?
Once you’ve had a chance to read through the reference there is still an opportunity to ask follow-up questions. Talk to your recruiter about the best way to approach follow-up. They will be able to advise how to phrase a certain question or they can do it for you.
Our consultants are constantly talking to referees, candidates and hiring managers to ensure they've found the perfect match. If you would like further advice on referencing from one of our experienced consultants, you can reach out to us here.
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