Automated Reference Checks: The New Gold Standard

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Traditional reference checks are extremely time-consuming and a labor intensive process. Your candidate provides the typical three references. Then you assign someone to call them, ask a series of questions and try to write down the responses as the reference answers.

More than likely you come face to face with organizational policies that limit their responses to name, rank and serial number. And you are left with very little information on your candidates.

And this has been the gold standard for reference checks for decades.

Until now. Traditional reference checks are going the way of the landline telephone. Goodbye.

Yes, there will be many that hang on to the old. We all have a hard time with change, even when we know it is a good thing.

Some will argue that they feel most comfortable speaking with references on the phone, listening to voice inflection or hesitations when answering pointed questions. I understand that. What is normal is most comfortable.

But is the voice inflections and hesitations really an indicator of anything? I am sure your days trek very similar to mine, running from meeting to meeting, hundreds of emails, projects that needed completed yesterday and then the phone rings and someone asks me if I have a few minutes to provide reference feedback.

I hate to admit this, especially if I know the candidate (which I should if they are calling), but my first thought is, “no, I don’t have time right now. You just interrupted the 10 minutes I had between meetings to answer five very important emails.” Not that the call isn’t important, but it is not at the top of my to-do-list at that moment.

I have been interrupted and they only have half of my attention. That’s not good for the reference. And it’s not good for you if I am distracted.

And as a proficient multi-tasker, I am still reading through emails while I am on the phone with you. So when you ask me a very important question, I am slow to respond because I just received a Skype from one of our business development team members about the huge prospect we having been communicating with for the past twelve months.

Unfortunately, you mistakenly read too much into the pause. You think I am playing ping pong in my head, trying to determine if I can answer your question or better yet how I should answer your question. Hmm must be something there.

When I am actually being rude and not giving you my full attention. You have interrupted me and I am having a hard time shifting gears to a task that is, quite honestly, not as important as the business development Skype.

Or you leave me a voice message requesting feedback. I am out of the office in meetings and it is a day or two before I get the message and write a Post-it-note to myself to call you back. But I also have six other phone messages to add to the hundreds of emails.

My day is one million percent about prioritizing. There are many tasks that never make the cut each day. If I am lucky, a team member will run with them. If not, it might sit for a few days.

So if you want honest, objective, competency-based feedback from me on your candidate in a timely manner then:

-Don’t interrupt me
-Let me provide feedback when it is convenient for me
-Understand my feedback will be immensely more valuable if I can focus 100%
-Let me do it any time (sometimes after the kids go to bed is when I get caught up)
-Let me do it anywhere
-And if you want me to be candid, let me do it anonymously
And guess what…. That is an option.

RapidRefCheck is available and meets all of the above requirements and many more.

Progressive and tech savvy HR leaders are embracing the new technology with open arms. Partners who have used automated reference checks will never pick up the phone again.

Cash-strapped volunteer organizations are realizing how valuable automated reference checks can be in protecting their kids since 80% of sex offenders do NOT have a criminal record. So I better be checking references to uncover any boundary issues a potential volunteer might have with children.

What are the simple benefits of automated reference checks:

1. Fast. 72% of references respond within the first 24 hours.

2. Efficient. Requires a name and email address to initiate and the system does everything else, including reminders.

3. Quality. Receive competency-based feedback from as many references as you choose.

4. Cheap. Depending on your volume, each candidate could cost you less than $1.

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