If you are trying to figure out whether or not you can hire someone, it is important to talk to people outside of the applicant. That is where a reference check is important. At the same time, when you call up a reference and ask questions, you might not know exactly what to ask. If you want to get an accurate picture of the applicant, you need to make sure that you asked the right questions to the potential reference. There are several important questions that you should not forget to ask when you have the reference on the phone. Use the below as the basis to form a checklist to use with every potential reference.
The first things you need to ask the potential reference about are reliability and dependability. If you are trying to decide out whether to hire someone, you need to know that they are going to show up for work every day. Even though the vast majority of people who pass through your doors are going to have these traits, you definitely should not assume that this is the case. The key to figuring out whether an applicant is able to complete his or her assignments while adhering to deadlines is to show up to work on time. Therefore, make sure that you asked about this specifically. That way, you know that you are getting an accurate picture of the applicant.
Next, you also need to make sure that you cover the strengths and weaknesses of the candidate. Even though there is a good chance that you are going to ask these questions of the candidate during the interview, you also want to ask the reference about strengths and weaknesses as well. If the strengths and weaknesses are largely similar, then you know that the candidate is painting an accurate picture for you.
In addition, you should also ask about strengths and weaknesses because this will let you know if the candidate is a good fit for your program. Remember that the strengths and weaknesses of the candidate are not necessarily positive or negative; however, you do need to decide if that person is going to be a good fit for your company culture.
Next, ask the reference what they remember most about the candidate during his or her time there. You want to see what stood out most about the candidate. After all, if that quality stood out during his or her prior job, there is a good chance that quality is going to stand out during his or her time with your company as well. You need to decide if that is the type of character you want at your company. See what stood out most about the applicant by asking the reference.
Finally, ask the reference about the type of work environment that would allow the applicant to thrive in. There is a good chance that the applicant is a strong candidate. After all, that's why you are going through the trouble of calling references. On the other hand, you also want to see if your work environment is right for the candidate. Ask if there is anything you can do to make the life of the applicant easier. Then, if you think you can do this, you may have found the right candidate for the position.
Make sure that you do your due diligence before deciding to hire someone. This means making sure that you ask the right questions to a potential reference. There is a reason why applicants show up with a list of references. Do not simply assume that you have found the right person after the interview. Instead, get the potential reference on the phone and ask and their opinion on the applicant. If they largely have positive things to say about the candidate, then there is a good chance that you have found the answer. On the other hand, there are some red flags, make sure that you clarify that with the applicant as well. Make sure that you provide the applicant with ample opportunity to explain any issues.