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Reference checking: The importance of secure, digitised and verified references

Reference checking is a slow and arduous process. Typically you are asked by a recruiter to provide contact details for your referees – your previous employers  (who may themselves have moved on to pastures new). The recruiter will follow up with them to confirm where you worked, when you worked there etc.  Every time you go through a new recruitment process, your referee will be contacted, contributing to what we call “reference fatigue”

Checking, again and again; repeatedly requesting the same information; printing out references from emails; and restarting the process every time.

Reference checks are typically a mandatory requirement to ensure every new hire has the required experience for their role.

What can be included in a job reference?

But what can an employer legally say about their former employee? Many candidates believe that companies can only release dates of employment, salary, and your job title – and in some cases this is accurate. Many organisations now will only confirm this basic information.

The most common information provided in a reference check are:

  1. Dates of employment
  2. Job title
  3. If they would re-employ you
  4. Any disciplinary action or legal issues
  5. Details about your role

However, a recruiter can also ask questions about competencies and capability; feedback on reliability, timekeeping, team working, autonomy, cash handling, communication skills, attitude, knowledge etc may also be asked. Many employers will not disclose this information as it can be considered to be objective and not based in fact.

Some recruiters may also ask questions about sickness absence, however, this is now quite unusual as if there is a suggestion that this information has affected the hiring decision, the employer could be accused of discriminatory practice.

Why should I have my references verified?

Verifying your references prior to getting recruited will help you be prepared for the recruitment process, and make it faster.

Also, recruiters will certainly consider a good verified referenced and complete profile before one that is missing proof of skills, professional experience and qualifications.

If you want to get in to work faster you can request references now and make them available to recruiters on SureCert.

How?

  1. Sign up to SureCert
  2. Add a reference request
  3. Complete the online form
  4. Press send!
  5. Share with prospective recruiters

This makes reference checking easier for anyone trying to recruit you for a new role.