Recent study shows that as many as one third of all the job seekers contain facts that are less than truthful. This amount of lies in the job applications have made the employers to perform every aspect of background screening before hiring an employee.

Employment reference checks are considered as the best inquiry tool for the employers to get to know deep about the prospective employee and it is substantially playing a critical role in all hiring decisions.

Unfortunately, previous employers are increasingly reluctant to provide references or background check information for fear of being sued by previous employees for defamation. If former employers provide potential employers with unsubstantiated information that damages applicants’ chances of being hired, applicants can (and do) sue for defamation. As a result, 54 percent of employers will not provide information about previous employees.

But these discrepancies can easily be resolved by adopting employment reference check best practices, which will help employers to stop distracting from the right course. These employment reference check best practices will empower an employer; give protection to the job candidate and also save them from discrimination & biasness.

Employment Reference Check Fundamentals and Best Practices to Avoid

Reference checking is not optional:

Ask for at least three references. Obtaining multiple references allows you to verify consistency among respondents and to demonstrate that you have made reasonable efforts to confirm the validity of information.

Inform the candidate that you plan to check employment references:

When you invite applicants to the selection interview, request that they come prepared with a list of employment references. The list should include the name, title, organization, address, and telephone number of the references.
Prior notice of employment reference checks is a must.

Who Should Do The Employment Reference Checking:

The individual conducting the employment reference check should be thoroughly familiar with the duties & skills required to perform the duties. Third party background screening companies have trained staff and resources which can help employers in this regard in a more appropriate manner.

Avoid personal references:

Your purpose is to talk to a person who can comment on the candidate’s past employment performance. The best references can be direct supervisors, peers and subordinates. So avoid personal references.

Always Check Employment references by phone, not by mail:

Companies & people are reluctant about putting comments related to current and former employees and their performance on paper because they fear legal liability. There are many plus points in making phone reference checks like tone of voice, a period of silence, or guarded response can change the meaning of a response dramatically.

What to ask and what not To for Employment Reference Check:

As it is an employment reference check, focus questions on knowledge, skills, abilities, and behaviors required for your specific position. Never ask discriminatory questions like age, race, sex, religion, national origin or marital status.

Author's Bio: 

Muhammad Saad Khan is a Writer, Social Media and Business Management Thought Leader Working with DataFlow Group, the world's leading primary source Verification Company headquartered in Singapore. His current research is about Employment Reference Checks and its Best Practices.