A reference check is something that is now an integral part of any employment opportunity. Prospective employers almost always decide to check people out before offering them a position. Of interest is the fact, however, that prospective employees forget that they will be checked out, and prospective employers don’t actually check people the right way.
The Right and Wrong Way to Check People
The wrong way to check people’s backgrounds is by simply entering their name in Google and seeing what comes up. While this may certainly reveal some interesting results, it is not actually a good reference to who someone is. Instead, it is better to seek the help of a professional company. The wrong way to do that, however, is to go with a non-professional company. Because there is such a demand for these types of services, there are also many out there that are nothing but a scam. Hence, the right way to conduct a background check on people is to look them up on the BBB and read any review you can find. And you should also check whether they will give you a refund if their search is incorrect.
Myths on Reference Checks
Meanwhile, employees have some significant misunderstandings as well:
- That when an employer offers a reference check, you basically have got the job, presuming, of course, that you have a clean background. A reference check is simply a verification of who you are and whether you have been honest in your application. It means your application is of interest, but certainly not that you definitely have the job.
- That bad reference checks simply doesn’t exist. It is true that the questions that can be asked on a reference check are more limited right now and don’t leave much room for personal opinion anymore. But someone who misbehaved at their past job, who has had countless days off, or who had a poor working attitude will not be able to get away from that.
Organizing References and Background Checks
The vast majority of people have a clean background or, if they don’t, are honest about that on their applications because they will otherwise simply get found out. However, most people are much less honest about their references. And if they are honest, they often don’t utilize them properly. It is important to organize references in a proper manner. This means:
- Collecting at least four different references so that you can always provide them to prospective employers.
- Make sure that the business references you pick will give honest answers and that those answers are positive. Try to pick references with managers who will actually answer the questions.
- Make sure that you tell your referees that they may be expecting a request soon because you have applied for a job. It is common courtesy and ensures they will look out for it and send it back asap.
- If you get the job, send your references a thank you note.