Checking references of a potential candidate is an absolute necessity. No one is in a better position than a former employer to tell you about a candidate or to verify information given to you by the individual.
Some employers may wish to state only âname, rank, and serial numberâ? for fear of being sued. However, you can remind them that most states consider this type of information to be âqualified privilegedâ?. This means the information given to you is protected unless it was knowingly false, given in bad faith, or in reckless disregard for the truth.
You can perform a reference check by either calling or writing a former employer. The important thing is to document whatever information you do get and note who gave it to you. Also note the information they would not give you.
If done correctly, checking references can be one of the most useful hiring tools available to any employer. If done poorly, it can lead to hiring someone who not only can’t do the job, but also who could do more harm than good for your business.« Return to all articles