There is always much debate on the importance of references on both the employer’s side and the applicant’s side. Some employers diligently call every single reference, while others disregard the references section on applications completely. How important are references really? More important than you might think. Every employer should thoroughly check all references on an applicant’s resume before committing to a hire.
How Do References Help Employers Choose the Best Candidates?
On the surface, it seems references just confirm that candidates are good people and hard workers. Let’s face it, if someone puts a reference on their resume, it is safe to assume that person will have nothing but good things to say about the candidate. However, references can tell you much more than this if you dig deep enough.
Speaking with references can tell you:
- What environment the candidate works best in
- The management style best suited for the candidate
- How well the candidate gets along with co–workers and supervisors
- The strengths and weaknesses of the candidate
- How well the candidate problem solves
Even though a candidate might be a hard worker, it doesn’t mean they are a good fit for your company. References can give you insights as to whether the candidate will mesh well with your company or if you need to keep searching.
How to Get the Most out of References
You must ask the right questions if you want to get the right answers out of references. Simply asking if a candidate showed up to work on time and completed tasks is not enough to give you the full picture. Ask questions about how they handle certain situations, the management style, the environment and how well they work with a team.
Take notes while talking to references, and then compare your notes to how your company functions and the expectations of the candidate.
Avoid Bad Hires by Checking References
Checking references is crucial to avoid hiring candidates that are not the right fit for your company. Bad hires lead to increased turnover rates. Hiring and training new employees is costly and takes time that is better spent on other needs within the company.
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