Reference Checks [Thread 137970] - CiteHR
Raj Kumar Hansdah
Shrm, Od, Hrd, Pms
Talent Acquisition, Training
Sai HR
Hr & Recruitment Consulting Services
+2 Others

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Dear Friends,
Can you tell me is doing refernce check over telephone really useful.
Personally i do not think so, as most of the references will give a positive feedback.
Kindly give me your opinions on it.

Mr.Jagdish, You are absolutely correct,You may take services of the agencies for reference check.Our company also provide this facility with authenticity,If you wish you may hire it.
Ref. checks are very important bcos at times even though a candidate has cleared all rounds of interview and found apt for a job, ref. checks hv thrown up unknown details about his/her past performance or behaviour issues leading to rejection of the candidate. Ofcourse getting the reference names from the candidate himself may not always work out since the people he refers wld be ones who wld give a good ref. about him most of the time.

It is better to ref. check with atleast 4 or 5 references of ex-superiors from as many of the candidate's previous cos. and back it up by informal ref checks from the candidate's current or ex-colleagues. It is important to specifically ask for the weaknesses of the candidate and instances where the candidate proved his / her ethical standards.

The best way wld be to engage a field verification agency and pay them to do a thorough background check at the residence and offices of the candidate. This wld ofcourse delay the recruitment process and increase the cost initially but will be a sure fire way of avoiding a wrong hire.


Sai HR

How about taking details from junior colleagues of the prospective candidate?.
You may ask for 3 or 4 professional references of people who had been reporting to the shortlisted candidate including their current designations and company phone details.
Your comments on this would be appreciated.

Thax to everyone for thier contributions.. but the point is 1st is it a vaildated process to do telephoic refrence checks... 2ndly is it ok to do refernce check of a person when he has not left his/her company and quite likely that he may be seen as a different person at his/her workplace as most come to know that the person is looking for a job..
Kindly give me your opinions on it.
I realise that refernce checks are important but mind you in most companies the HR does a very slopy refernce checks via telephone.. and restricts it to a mere administrative purpose.

Hi jagdeesh,
I complelety agree on the 2nd point that you have mentioned when an employer conducts reference check for an employee who is working presently it is going to be very difficult for that employee.I have personally sensed this doesnt even give you the clear picture of the employee.

Dear All, Taking into consideration all the above said facts as experienced by my other friends could anybody suggest any fool proof system for doing these checks. Jagdish
Its really a tough job if you really check the references mentioned in the resume response u will get is always +ve. Coz why will I give references of the person who will speak bad abt me.
So its neccesary to check it at his previous employer.
for more details you may contact on:


Frankly, I have never understood how a reference check becomes the final statement on the capabilities of a candidate.

Reference checks may be relevant to assess a person's general character, but they can never be sufficiently reliable viv a vis a candidate's qualifications for the position unless a candidate has successfully bluffed his/her way through an incompetent screening process / screening team.

In a man eating man scenario that we continuously encounter in the post meltdown scenario, many commentators while giving references often tend to lie about good candidates by giving negative references to retain openings for their own near and dear ones who may be incompetent but will succeed in eliciting favorable references due to their connections. Lying can be both ways.

The bottomline is that this process is useless which explains why many HR professionals merely take it as a formality and complete the exercise superficially.

Come to think of it, if reference checks were even half as useful as they are made out to be, the World would not have seen the economic bloodbath that we are still struggling to emerge from over 2 years after it first struck.

Dear vikassahay
A very warm welcome to !!!
You joined yesterday; and the very same day you have posted this wonderful thought-provoking post/opinion. It is like a cricketer scoring a maiden century on debut !!
I agree with each sentence of your post; although conventional HR wisdom may find them unreasonable.
I especially liked the last para :
"Come to think of it, if reference checks were even half as useful as they are made out to be, the World would not have seen the economic bloodbath that we are still struggling to emerge from over 2 years after it first struck."
Well said !!
As they say in advertisements of financial instruments and funds : PAST PERFORMANCE IS NOT AN INDICATOR OR GUARANTEE OF FUTURE PERFORMANCE !!.
Do participate in the discussions actively. I shall look forward to more of your posts/threads in future.
Warm regards.

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