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Why Reference Checks are Important for Verifying Candidates

Updated: Sep 12, 2023

While some companies pride themselves on speed and efficiency, others tend to work on a slower, more qualitative pace. Timing plays a huge factor in this industry and can truly make any opportunity a make-or-break situation. So, the question becomes: “How do we efficiently qualify strong talent without sacrificing quality?”.

The “Why” Behind a Reference Request:

The ability of a recruiter to ultimately verify that the consultant can do what he or she says they can do is left to one key component: the reference check. A recruiter can ask amazing questions and still be fooled into thinking they are talking to the perfect fit because, at the end of the day, if they had the true knowledge of a great consultant, they would probably be consulting and not recruiting. A good reference check is the last line of defense prior to introducing your “star candidate” to a potential client.

What a Great Reference can Accomplish:

A verifiable reference is the greatest tool a recruiter has in their arsenal to prove that a consultant can effectively handle the proposed task at hand. A manager who is willing to put their name on the line to back a consultant’s work ethic and abilities can go a long way in this congested line of work. As a recruiter, I have received a lot a push back on reference requests.

If you were a hiring manager with three qualified candidates to decide on and only one of them has great references on file from a recent position, which one would you choose? This could be the clear difference between a candidate receiving an offer or being passed on by the hiring manager.

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