Reference checks or employment verification can provide valuable insight when considering a candidate. The key is knowing what to ask, and how to spot red flags.
Start by creating a list of standardized questions so you can evaluate each candidate equally. Some organizations limit what they will share when verifying employment, we recommend focusing on the topics below:
- The start and end dates of employment.
- The last job title held by the employee.
- The ending pay rate.
- Indicator of whether the separation was voluntary or involuntary.
- Indicator of whether the employee is eligible for re-hire.
When contacting each company, confirm you are speaking with a human resources representative. A former colleague or office receptionist does not have access to the information required to answer your questions appropriately. When reviewing answers, here are a few red flags you should watch for:
- Incorrect or false contact information.
- Inaccurate descriptions of job history.
- Unexplained gaps in employment.
- Documented behavioral issues.
At the end of your call, you should either feel confident in extending a job offer or need to contact the candidate for further explanation.