Background and Reference Checks are Much More Than a Formality

Over the past 10 years background and reference checks have increased in importance during the hiring process.  Why are these checkpoints that were just a formality before extending an offer more crucial today than ever? Just ask one of these high profile executives about resume fraud.

Due in large part to increased competition and necessary qualifications for jobs, resume fraud has become more common than you’d think.  In fact, according to a poll by CareerBuilder, 58 percent of hiring managers say they’ve caught a lie on a resume.

The days of checking only criminal history and credit scores are long past.  Background checks must include verifying educational history, and checking references should be one of the most important steps in your hiring process.  Past performance is usually the best indicator of future performance, so you should seize the opportunity to communicate with past supervisors and coworkers who can help you determine if the candidate is a true for your job.

Knowing why and how to conduct background and reference checks can make the hiring process more seamless and less intimidating, and reduce the risk of a bad hire.

Why You Should Perform Reference Checks

When you like everything you’re hearing from a potential candidate, checking references may seem like a hassle. Your gut feeling says the candidate is telling the truth, so you should just believe them and move on.  Wrong.  Candidates have perfected the ability to embellish details about their previous employment.  Using a reference check to verify employment dates and titles, and talk to past coworkers and supervisors will provide valuable information that might prove critical when it comes time to make your hiring decision.

Checking references is your best means of verifying the skills and experiences the applicant claims to possess.

How To Conduct a Thorough Reference Check

Compile a list of questions to ask each reference based on the job description of the position you’re hiring for.  These should be a combination of questions addressing behavioral skills, as well as verifying technical skills.  Ask the same questions to each reference to collect similar information to compare between job candidates.

It’s also very important to know who the reference is that you’re talking to. A candidate could have given you any name and any phone number. You could even be talking to a friend or family member posed as a former supervisor.  In order to make sure you’re talking to a real previous supervisor, ask questions about the referee’s specific title, when they worked together, etc. If you get a vague answer, don’t be afraid to probe further and clarify the response.

Verify that the information the applicant gave you during the interview is correct in terms of projects they worked on, level of responsibilities they had, and education and training completed.

Don’t move forward with a candidate that has too many red flags after talking with their references.

If you don’t have the resources on staff to conduct thorough background and reference checks on your candidates, let the experienced recruiters at BOS Medical Staffing help.  Since 2008, BOS Medical (a division of BOS Staffing) has brought talented nurses, therapists and medical administrators together with top facilities. Our nursing and healthcare staffing recruiters go above and beyond, and won’t send you a candidate until we’ve verified their credentials.

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