Why taking a candidate reference isn’t always enough.
Following up on a candidate reference is seen as an essential part of the recruitment process. A reference not only validates what the candidate has stated on their CV, but allows the hiring manager to make the best decision possible. Although there are conflicting ideas on it’s importance, especially if the candidate left their previous employer under difficult circumstances, reference checking has always been the best way to gather data from an external source.
However, even after checking a reference, all may not be as it seems. Social Media has now made it incredibly easy to create fake profiles even on professional networks like LinkedIn, stating false skills, companies and work experience.
Is getting hold of a candidate’s reference proving more difficult than usual? Have they provided you with a standard HR reference? It may be worth taking the time to do some “detective work” and double check the integrity of your candidate.
Kyna Associates recently experienced this first hand after making a candidate an offer to work for us. When checking the candidates references proved difficult, we undertook some investigative work of our own. After checking up company records of their previous employer, it became apparent that there was something unusual about this candidate. Further searches through LinkedIn and Twitter revealed a completely fabricated work history and a completely different name.
Of course this isn’t a usual occurrence and most referees are happy to provide references for their previous employees, however, if something doesn’t feel right, it’s important to fact check. If there is anything unusual, or doesn’t match with what’s stated on their CV, double check directly with your candidate.
No matter how good your candidate appears to be, taking the time to go through some checks could save you dismissals further down the line and potential disruptions within your team.