Use this one tip to overcome obstacles when doing reference checks

Simangele Mzizi, Fsp Business, 20 Oct. 2014

Tags: recruitment, background checks, conducting background checks

Conducting background checks isn’t negotiable.

Before you hire a new employee, you need to make sure their CV is correct by doing background checks.

If you don’t, you could end up hiring someone with a bad credit history in your finance department or someone convicted of drunken driving as your company driver!

To help you ensure your background checks run smoothly, we recommend you use this one tip to overcome obstacles when doing reference checks.

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The A-Z of legal recruitment

  • Did you know there are 11 legal requirements for recruitment?
  • Do you know how the Employment Equity Act affects your job advertisement?
  • Do you know what checks you can legally conduct on an applicant?
  • Are you sure your employment contract includes the 16 clauses the law says you must have?

If you don’t have all of these aspects correct, you’ll be on the wrong side of the law when it comes to your recruitment process.



Overcome referee obstacles by using this tip

According to the Practical Guide to Human Resources Management, what makes doing reference checks challenging is many companies have a policy that prevents their employees from providing references.
In these cases, their HR department only verifies employment, dates of employment and job title.
But, there’s a way to overcome this obstacle.
Tip: If the referee opens the conversation with the no reference policy, let him know that this is purely a work related reference, it’s highly confidential and you won’t discuss it with anyone.
It’s important that you emphasise discretion and confidentiality. Once you’ve assured him of this and have identified yourself properly, he’ll be more open and give you the information you need.
When you have his attention, remember to ask open ended questions. This will allow him to give you more details about the applicant and not “yes” or “no” answers.
In addition, stay focused and only use background checks to verify the information a candidate’s given you in his CV. There must be a link between the background check and the job. Crossing the line is against the law and could open the door to unfair discrimination claims.
There you have it. Using this tip will help you overcome obstacles when doing reference checks.
PS: For practical advice, tools, checklists and samples that cover every single step of recruitment, check out Recruitment: The Complete Guide.

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