Open ended questions in dating
What the Experts Say Checking references is often seen as one small piece of the hiring protocol—the final motion to go through before you extend a formal offer to a candidate.
But viewing reference checks as a formality is a mistake, according to Priscilla Claman, the president of Career Strategies, a Boston-based consulting firm and a contributor to the . “Even though you’re right 90% of the time, the 10% that you’re wrong”—if, say, a candidate has vastly overstated his qualifications or has other professional skeletons in his closet—“can be very damaging.” Worst-case scenarios aside, reference checking often yields “vital” information about the candidate, says Claudio Fernández-Aráoz, a senior adviser at global executive search firm Egon Zehnder and most recently the author of .
In other words, don’t read too much into the referee’s tone of voice or inflection, says Fernández-Aráoz.
Stick to the facts Focus on what the reference is saying rather than how she’s saying it.
Here are some tips to make the most of reference checks. Think, too, about who is best positioned to provide the context and insight you seek, says Fernández-Aráoz.
Seek input The first step in the process is to solicit feedback from all the people in your organization who interviewed the candidate, according to Claman. “Work jointly” with the candidate to find the right people from whom to seek information.
In the uncommon event that your understanding differs from what you hear from one or more references, ask the candidate to explain. But what you learn will help you get a sense for whether the candidate is “a cultural fit” for your organization.
“You may find that it is nothing to be concerned about,” she says. “Try to understand the type of culture that this candidate has worked in and her ability to learn and adapt to a new ones,” he says.
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