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When you’re in the process of interviewing candidates for your company, it’s a smart move to check if they’ve listed professional references before the interview. As an employer, you should ask for references as part of the application process. A candidate can look great on paper, but getting perspective into the human side of their interactions helps you truly know if they’re a good fit for your business. 

If you’re asking potential hires to provide references, then you need to understand that there’s a difference between a professional, character or personal reference. A professional reference is someone who they’ve worked with either at a previous job, volunteer position or a supervisor at their current job. If they’re new to the professional world — for example, someone applying for an internship or their first job out of school —  then they can use professors, coaches, and mentors as professional references.

As the hiring manager, what you want to know about is whether or not the candidate will be right for the job. Not only that, will they be able to integrate themselves easily into the company’s culture? Although you and other decision-makers may review the candidate’s resume and spend time with them in interviews, it can still be hard to assess someone’s personality and experience without a little context into their previous roles.

That’s where professional references can help to sway your decision one way or another. Let’s put it this way: if they did great in the interview but maybe lack a skill that your company is looking for, then getting a glowing reference from a former boss may them land the position. On the other hand, a neutral review for one candidate may help you see someone else in a more favorable light. Either way, following up with and checking a potential employee’s references are a crucial part of any hiring manager’s decision-making process.

Once you’ve decided on a candidate, give us a call! Our pre-employment screening packages will let you rest assured that you’re making the right choice every time.