Dr. Molar had the same team for over 20 years. She never expected that her main front desk person would move out of town and resign. For the first time in years, Dr. Molar found herself in unfamiliar territory – to recruit and hire a new team member. She sought out the assistance of Strategic Practice Solutions to coach her through the process. Approximately 3 weeks of recruiting went by before Dr. Molar was impressed by a candidate, Jane. Jane had said all the right things during the prescreen and face to face interview and performed very well during her working interview. Dr. Molar was ready to hire. STOP! What was the vital step that was not completed by Dr. Molar? If you said, EMPLOYMENT REFERENCES, you are correct!
Dr. Molar was coached on how to perform the employment reference and how to document the call. Guess What? As a huge surprise to Dr. Molar, Jane was not a good candidate for hire. All 3 of Jane’s work references cited how she was very skilled and knowledgeable in her administrative duties; however, she was insubordinate at times, had attitude issues and “stirred the pot” with the team. Needless to say, the 6 to 8 minutes Dr. Molar spent conducting employment references saved her hundreds of hours putting out fires and performing HR related items.
At one time or another, we have all been in similar situations. A key person puts in their resignation or you are needing to terminate a person who holds a key position on your team. We have all felt the anxiety consume our bodies as we try to find time to quickly refill a position. Yet, if you are looking to build a winning team, employment references are important – that is if you are not willing to settle.
Reference checking is a vital part of a successful hiring strategy and is primarily used to:
- Verify information provided by the candidate
- Better predict the candidate’s on-the-job success
- Gain additional knowledge (e.g. candidate’s abilities)
Reference checks are conducted once the applicant pool is narrowed down to the top 2 to 3 candidates. For purposes of this guide, a “reference” is a person (e.g. supervisor, coworker, professor) whom the hiring manager or human resources (HR) specialist can talk with regarding the candidate’s past performance.