Reference checking is a critical step in the hiring process. Here’s the most effective way to verify information the candidate has presented in the resume and during interviews:
Handle it yourself. It’s the only way to be certain that the right questions are asked and that follow-up is thorough.
Ask the right people. Supervisors and managers often provide the most detailed information; family, friends and other personal references may not be able to speak to the individual’s business abilities and, of course, may not be objective.
Confirm important claims the candidate made at the interview and in the resume about job duties and experience, especially specific, quantifiable statements, such as “supervised eight staff members” or “trimmed budget by 20 percent.”
Don’t jump to conclusions based on feedback from one reference. Look for a pattern in the responses you receive from all references. Try to confirm particularly positive or negative comments with other contacts to get a better idea of the candidate’s work style and history.