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References: A Hiring Manager's Deciding Factor

References: A Hiring Manager's Deciding Factor

Posted on September 2022 By Mary Snowden

Contacting Candidate References as a Hiring Manager

Everyone loves a look behind the curtain. It’s no surprise that in hiring, we want to get a behind-the-scenes look at a candidate's conduct before offering them the job.

Reference Checks allow employers to gain insight into a candidate’s suitability for a role, based on information provided by people the candidate has engaged with professionally in the past.

Referees corroborate information about the applicant, like their reason for leaving their previous workplace, their skills, qualifications and general behaviour. A Career Builder study found that 75% of hiring managers have caught a lie on a resume, and it’s references that can verify if a candidate’s claims are genuine. They provide a real-world window to the candidate, having spent time with them, observing their work ethic, attitude, achievements and mishaps.

There are numerous types of referees a candidate might provide. Most often, it’s someone they used to work for, or with. These are quite valuable to prospective employers, considering past behaviour is a good indicator of future performance. However, educational references are also common, particularly for people entering the workforce into their field of study.

Finding the right fit for a role is of the utmost importance, as a bad hire can be costly and carry reputational and financial risks. Skipping a reference check leaves a company vulnerable to negligent hiring lawsuits, not to mention to risk of fraud, theft, criminal activity and risk to staff safety.

While there are some employers who still contact referees by phone, this can be a drain on resources as they can get caught up chasing referees or engaged in long-winded conversations. Digital referencing software enables employers to request references in minutes and have the candidate and referee complete a simple form. Online References can also alert hiring managers of suspicious activity, like the candidate providing their own reference, through the use of browser fingerprinting and network analysis.

Conducting thorough Reference Checks enables hiring managers to understand whether or not a candidate is who they say they are, is as skilled and qualified as they claim, and is a good fit for the team and culture of the company. Common questions asked in a reference check are:

  • How does this person contribute to and communicate within their team?

  • How would you rate the quality and consistency of their work?

  • Why did they decide to leave your organisation?

  • Where could they improve?

  • Would you hire them again?​

The answers and insights provided by referees can be the deciding factor for a hiring manager deliberating between two candidates with similar resumes. To ensure you’re putting your best foot forward with your references, it’s beneficial to brief them on the roles you’re applying for. This way, they’ll be ready to discuss your most relevant skills and achievements, and make you the stand-out candidate.

Vetting.com simplifies background screening for a quick, compliant and cost-effective process. They empower businesses to streamline their background screening process with the ability to request checks in just minutes, monitor numerous checks at a glance, and tailor check packages for different roles. 


To learn more about Vetting.com and their extensive range of checks, responsive support team and easy-to-use interface, reach out to them today.