To all of the hiring managers out there,
Remember there is a war on talent right now. Doing reference checks are a great way to confirm the opinion you’ve already formed about a potential new hire, but it can also cost you a great candidate. When calling a former supervisor to check a reference, you are alerting them as well. You are announcing “this person is on the market!” Former managers may view this as an opportunity to rehire their favorite ROCK STAR. Additionally, they now have some intelligence to work with (name of the company, industry etc.) and position their own opportunity more competitively. While we all like to feel as though we did our “due diligence”, references don’t typically uncover any surprises. No one is going to give a reference that will bad mouth them, so what are you really going to learn? Sure you can verify dates of employment and maybe their title, but that is about it. With the risk of litigation always hanging out there, employers won’t even reveal the reason the candidate parted ways. Save yourself the effort (and potentially the new hire) and check references with HR, peers or just take a glance at their LinkedIn profile. Protect yourself when you find a gem!
Article by Jennifer Krinsky, Senior Account Director, and contributions from the entire Maryland team.