Understanding an Employee’s Past Experience
First and foremost, references provide employers with valuable information about a potential employee's experience fit, using past work experience and performance. Employers can ask references about an applicant's strengths and weaknesses, their ability to work well with others, and their overall work ethic. This information can help employers determine if an applicant would be a good fit for their company and if they would be likely to stay with the company for an extended period of time.
Some good examples of experience reference questions are:
Does Values fit matter?
In addition to providing information about an applicant's work experience, references can also give employers insight into a perspective employees value's, enjoyment from the job, character and integrity. Employers can ask references about an applicant's honesty, reliability, and dependability. This information can help employers determine if an applicant would be a trustworthy and dependable employee who is likely to stay with the company longer. Just be careful to plan your questions before hand, as the conversational nature of a phone-based reference check can lead to discriminatory questions slipping into the mix.
Some helpful examples:
Appetite for Growth
Finally, references can also be a good way for employers to get a sense of an applicant's long-term career goals and aspirations. Employers can ask references about an applicant's career aspirations, why they left their previous position, willingness to take on new challenges, and their potential for growth. This information can help employers determine if an applicant is likely to be committed to their job and the company for an extended period.
Some examples of employee growth questions:
Use Smart Technology to Support Best Practice
Most HR professionals are too busy to track down references, and reference letters just don’t give you the information you need. Using an automated reference generator like the one coHired uses might be a good way for you to insure there is less bias and more compliance in your HR recruitment process.
References are an important tool for employers when trying to find and hire employees who will stay with their company for an extended period. They provide valuable information about an applicant's experience fit, ability to do the job, values, and career aspirations. However, using best practice means you have to be prepared to keep unconscious bias out of your process by preparing insightful questions before hand and sticking to them. This can help employers determine if an applicant would be a good fit for their company and if they would be likely to stay long term.
Agoge is a values driven human resource company that is passionate about helping employers source people who fit into their teams, are productive and stay longer.