Step 1: Obtain referee details from your interviewees or shortlisted applicants
At the interview stage, ask your applicants for referee details and get their permission to contact them. Referees are usually past or current employers of the applicant, but they can also be anyone who is able to provide details about the person’s character, education or suitability for the job. Be aware that some applicants may be reluctant to have their current employer know that they are applying for another job.
Step 2: Decide what you want to ask the referees
Before you contact the referee, you should check what factors you need to check first. Are there any particular aspects of their application or their interview or their testing that you want to verify or understand better? Do you have any concerns about the applicant’s suitability that the referee may be able to provide clarification on?
You can use the below to assist you with compiling your questions. The template has been colour coded to assist you to complete it accurately. You simply need to replace the <red> writing with what applies to your employee and situation.
Step 3: Contact the referees
Think about the best time to contact the referees especially when contacting overseas referees. For some referees you may need to consider arranging a specific time to talk where they won’t be busy and will have time to think about their answers.
You can use this template to help you check your applicant’s references when you are hiring for a new job. Reference checks can help you verify the claims made by applicants in their interview and help you make more informed hiring decisions.