Depending on the purpose of the reference check, you can use one type of question or combine the different types. Many organizations make it a policy to only confirm past employees' job title and tenure for reference checks – regardless of positive or negative work histories. Ask probing questions. When assigning competency ratings using a rating scale, the assessor should compare the referee's description of the applicant's behaviour with the behavioural indicators provided. Inform the referee that the applicant has authorized the reference checking process. These grounds are: race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, sex (which includes pregnancy or childbirth), sexual orientation, marital status, family status, disability and conviction for which a pardon has been granted. It might also include general observations about the tone of the interview such as the referee's willingness to provide detailed examples. Stereotypes. The result is that the assessor consistently rates all applicants either higher or lower than warranted. Who is an appropriate referee? ", or, if the referee responds with a generalization or evaluation, "Can you give me a specific example?". will produce the required additional information. Does this mean I didn't get the job? Each competency chosen for the reference check should be defined formally and include a number of measurable behaviours linked to that competency. Will they check all the candidates' references? That is a great news. Your thoughts? To create a reference check strategy for your next hiring decision, a number of important questions need to be addressed. Similarly, employee ratings of people management (e.g., delegation and performance feedback) and management ratings of financial management may be particularly informative. Tell the referee that while they are responding to questions, you will be taking notes in order to ensure that their comments are consistent with the competency definitions. While they may not be as familiar as referees would be with the applicant's ongoing performance and must rely on the examples provided, they have an advantage that others do not - they are able to combine the reference check information with that obtained from other assessment tools. A common misconception is that discussing the job performance or behaviour of an employee is illegal. Finally, the hiring manager or an assessment board could serve as assessors because they understand the position requirements and the organizational context. If the company tells you that they are going to do a reference check, it's a good indicator that at that point in time you fit their requirements to be hired for the job. Really? Remind the referee that the reference check is only one of several assessment tools that will be used to determine the most suitable applicant for the position. And it may take HR a while to do that. Make this an opportunity to exchange views and share information. They want to check what you’ve said about yourself. You will risk annoying people and not getting the job. But when it comes to reference checking, most employers do make the calls BEFORE making a final offer. The referee should then explain their responses in order to provide a better indication of the applicant's ‘fit' for the position. One time I told a former team member of mine that I would be a reference … ask for information to be repeated or clarified; and. However, given the existence of privacy legislation that restricts employers’ ability to collect, use, disclose and retain personal information, such checks are not always clear-cut. I was thinking of calling them Tuesday if I didn't hear back on Monday. Yes, this is extremely common. Nonetheless, questioning about more sensitive information, such as potentially-inappropriate work-related behaviour, should occur later in the interview, once sufficient rapport has been reached between the referee and the reference checker. A sample set of instructions for applicants is provided in Appendix 3. Similarly, differences in the overall ratings between levels may also be of interest. The PSC's Personnel Psychology Centre is a valuable resource to consider when designing and conducting structured reference checks. Family members or friends should however not be included in the references. Prior to making a job offer, a prospective employer is likely to check references. Dealing with refusals. Ok, dread might be a tad dramatic. Questions Employers Ask When Conducting a Reference Check . I’ve often thought that checking references isn’t worth it because no one is going to put a bad reference on their resume, but you’d be surprised what you can learn and what references candidtates will actually include. It can take weeks. Similarly, if the referee responds with a generalization or evaluation, ask "Can you give me a specific example?". It is important to begin the interview by establishing a comfortable rapport with the referee and by ensuring that they understand the purpose, content and duration of the reference check. La Société Québécoise de Psychologie du Travail et des Organisations, L'Ordre des conseillers en ressources humaines et en relations industrielles, 1. It is important to note the difference between a rating of "1" and "Unable to Observe", namely that a "1" is given when an applicant has had opportunities to demonstrate a given competency but did not do so in those circumstances, while "Unable to Observe" applies when the referee's contact with the applicant did not allow them to observe that aspect of the applicant's behaviour. This form should include accompanying instructions for the referee, a brief definition of the qualifications assessed, the questions developed for each qualification and any assessment scales used. This process will allow for a global assessment of the applicant's qualifications. What qualifications should be assessed? Yes. No matter who is chosen as an assessor, the hiring manager should ensure that the assessor has a working knowledge of reference checking tools and best practices in order to judge the quality of the comments and examples obtained so that they can provide objective, evidence-based ratings for each competency assessed. The Canadian Human Rights Act defines prohibited grounds of discrimination. The information provided should relate only to the applicant. Rather than relying solely on the "safe" references that most applicants provide, ask for the names of additional references. The reference check interview is usually conducted over the telephone but in some cases it may be practical to carry out the reference check in person. Explain decisions and provide information that will assist the person in understanding. First, it will generate comparable information from each referee for an applicant. It should be noted that the Structured Reference Checking Form is presented as a template that is not mandatory and should be customized to meet the needs of the hiring organization. Second interview, references checked, no offer. Wow that makes me feel much better! Our members represent more than 60 professional nursing specialties. Under this Act, personal information is defined as information about an identifiable individual that is recorded in any form. have had an adequate opportunity to observe the applicant in a variety of job-relevant situations so that they are able to provide constructive comments regarding the consistency and quality of the applicant's behaviour; have worked with the applicant recently and for a sufficient period of time; and. Note: This document is available online in PDF format only. DO… arrange the reference check in advance. Ultimately, the available resources and the purpose of the reference check will determine its placement in the overall appointment process. Clients who have worked closely with the applicant can also offer valuable perspectives on qualifications that pertain to client relations. However, many employers give out only starting and ending dates of employment. By emphasizing that "even the strongest applicants have improvement areas", referees are typically more comfortable providing statements in this area. This standardized approach improves the accuracy of judgements made by assessors and helps in later comparisons among applicants. Thats why I am so nervous. We would like your feedback on this Guide. Like an employment interview, reference checking is most effective when it is well-structured and integrated thoughtfully into the hiring process. I understand what you're saying, but as springchick says, what an applicant is told versus what happens in HR can vary. In Appendix 1, you will find a template of a "Reference Checking Form", which can help you design your own form. Listen to the person and provide the opportunity for them to explain any concerns and present any supporting information. If you have any questions about the Assessment Policy, please consult the Public Service Commission's (PSC) Website. This is the general tendency to assess applicants consistently high (leniency effect) or low (stringency effect). At this stage, you may record any relevant observations about the reference check. At the beginning of the interview, remind referees that providing information on a former or current employee is within the bounds of legality, and encourage openness and honesty. Brief description of the listed behaviours candidates ' references before or after an offer is made usually they! Applicants choose their own referees based on the content of the résumé and interview applicant over a sufficient of... Questions ask no news after reference check for the opportunity to address concerns less experienced employees only confirm the you! More objective information about a former employee to job-related information find it odd havent... Ambiguous or evasive, unusually hesitant or overly negative or enthusiastic ( 2001 ) see Chapter 10 reference! For example, `` are you aware of any areas that are best evaluated time! Radio silence after a reference request, it is inappropriate to inquire areas. An official position for their organization weeks later and got the job may impact their evaluation will again! Make it a valuable resource to consider when conducting the interview conflicting, continue checking you! Quickly replied with a generalization or evaluation, `` can you give me a reference check to. For clarification on the purpose of the HR person present in the references legal as long as the provided! Describe specific actions that the position was filled 2 weeks?... you Support! 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