Verbal references – are they really necessary?

You’ve got to the end of the recruitment process, and you have found the best person or shortlist of people. The next crucial job is to complete verbal references. Two is usually a good number.    The hiring manager must ensure they are talking to the right person. The candidate’s former manager is ideal since a colleague might answer differently.  Asking the right questions is also crucial. Take time to prepare a selection of competency and personal questions. It is a fine balance, but important to get right.

Often when a new hire doesn’t quite deliver on promises from their resume, it turns out a verbal reference was never completed.    A reference is essential to developing a clear picture of a candidate’s personality type, fit into the company culture, and transferable skillset.

It important for candidates to provide references of direct managers whenever possible,  although this might not be easy if they are still working there. They should also ensure their reference is willing to receive a call and to let them know when to expect it. There is nothing worse than a reference who is unaware their name has been provided.

At the end of the day, it’s better to take the time to complete references. A bit of phone tag now will not matter in the long term when you have the best person for the job.