Once a candidate has been selected for the position, their professional references should be contacted. Reference checks can verify candidates’ employment details including job performance, strengths, and weaknesses. Although a written reference may be accepted as part of the candidate’s application, they should not be accepted as a reference check.
Things to remember when reference checking, include:
- Before contacting any referees, ensure you have the candidate’s consent to do so.
- Review all referee questions and be sure to include specific questions for the role, before the interviews take place.
- When first contacting referees, ask if they are available now or if you need to organise another time to contact them.
- In compliance with the Australian Privacy Act, it is recommended that the interviewer asks the following question before commencing the checks. “(Trading name) is collecting information as part of its process of assessing (Candidate name) for employment. If (Candidate name) requests it, do we have your permission to allow them to sight your comments? Yes/No?”
- Provide a brief overview of the position the candidate applied for, to ensure the referee understands what sort of role the candidate is being assessed for.
- If the referee was a co-worker or subordinate, then the reference check should go no further, as the referee needs to be someone who has previously managed or supervised the candidate.
- Make sure as many details as possible are recorded during the check. If you hear any hesitation, or an unwillingness to answer, explore why this might be and note it.
- Make sure at the end of the interview, you ask the referee if there is anything they would like to add.
Remember, all reference checking must also be obtained legally in line with Privacy requirements, conducted in a non-discriminatory manner and be based only on the criteria and requirements for the role.
Once reference checks have been completed, and they confirm the candidate’s suitability for the role, an offer letter and an employment agreement should be sent to the candidate. If the offer has been made subject to pre-employment conditions, e.g., medical, police check, etc., then highlight these conditions in the offer letter and the employment agreement. If a more stringent confidentiality agreement needs to be signed, ensure this document is also attached. Once the candidate accepts the job offer and returns the signed documents, they are hired.
However, if the reference checks highlight that the candidate isn’t suitable for the role, you could potentially ask for another reference or move onto a new candidate.
Next week’s blog will be focusing on the induction and onboarding of new employees.
If you have any further questions on recruiting or need support with your people and culture, then get in contact with Akyra for an obligation free conversation.
- 3 reasons for a stand-down
- 4 negative perceptions of the annual Performance Review
- 2 salesman + commission-only salaries = 1 hefty fine
- 4 HR audits to improve business
- Employee personal information – when is it your business to know?