Every team needs the right pieces to fit perfectly together. That’s why it pays off for organizations large and small to invest in effective recruitment practices. Taking careful measures when reviewing potential candidates can help ensure efficient operations, minimize turnover costs, and boost morale. A successful organization starts with thoughtful employee selection.In Canada, reference checks can be invaluable when selecting a new team member. Calgarian employers know this. By discovering what previous colleagues and bosses have to say about someone, a hiring manager can make informed employment decisions. Decisions that are based on valuable evidence of character, professional skillset, and work history. Oftentimes, these details may not come across through just resumes or interviews alone. This post covers how successful reference checks should be done. We will explore the many benefits they bring throughout the recruitment process and the important legalities involved. These will give your HR person an edge on the next hire.
What are reference checks in Calgary?Reference checks are a part of the hiring process that involves contacting an applicant’s previous employers or other professional contacts to verify the accuracy of their resume, learn more about their work history and performance, and gain insight into their character and work ethic.
Types of reference checksThere are several types of reference checks that Calgary employers can conduct, including:
Employment reference checks:These involve contacting the applicant’s previous employers to confirm employment dates, job duties, and performance.
Professional reference checks:These involve contacting the applicant’s professional contacts, such as former colleagues, mentors, or clients, to gain insight into their work habits, personality, and skill set.
Educational reference checks:These involve contacting the applicant’s educational institutions to confirm their degree or certification.
Criminal record checks:There are two different criminal record checks: name-based and certified criminal checks. The first is based entirely on the person’s name and birth date. These are acquired through the RCMP’s Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) system. The second type requires getting fingerprinted. These are then run through RCMP’s Canadian Criminal Real-Time Identification Services (CCRTIS).
Police checks:Also known as a background check or a police information check, these checks are done through the Calgary police service in your local jurisdiction.
Vulnerable sector checks:The Vulnerable Sector Checks (VSC) were made available in 2000. These are for companies that have employees or volunteers that work with vulnerable people. These include children, the disabled, and the elderly. This check includes what the other criminal records check do, and adds searching for sexual offences.
Pros and cons of reference checks
- Provides an additional layer of background checks beyond what is provided on a resume
- Can provide insight into an applicant’s work ethic, character, and ability to work in a team
- It helps reduce the risk of hiring mistakes, losing money, and employee turnover
- Enhances the employer’s reputation and credibility
- May not always be accurate or truthful (although you can depend on police checks, criminal record checks, and vulnerable sector checks)
- Can be time-consuming and costly
- Some employers may be reluctant to provide a reference due to legal or ethical concerns
- Can potentially lead to discrimination issues if not conducted properly
Benefits of Conducting Reference ChecksSource : https://unsplash.com/photos/NbtIDoFKGO8 Reference checks are powerful tools that enable employers to determine the best fit for their company. Performing background investigations on potential employees allows managers to gain insight into a candidate’s prior experience and qualifications, enabling them to make informed decisions when hiring new staff. Furthermore, such screenings can help reduce costly turnover rates in the workplace by uncovering any red flags beforehand. This cultivates an environment of trust among coworkers.
Verification of candidate’s qualificationsReference checks are a surefire way to confirm that the candidate you’re considering has all the credentials they’ve claimed. Leveraging this tool can provide peace of mind, knowing your potential hire is genuinely equipped for success and fit for your role – so there’s no chance of being blindsided by an inaccurate resume.
Assessment of candidate’s character and work ethicReference checks are a crucial asset that employers use to get an intimate look at prospective hires. Through them, they gain insight into the person’s character traits and determine if their work ethic aligns with what is expected of them. This helps determine if they can fit into the company culture and make meaningful contributions for success. These are crucial insights when looking for someone genuinely committed to the organization.
Identification of potential red flagsReference checks help employers identify potential red flags that may not have been apparent during the interview process. For example, a reference may mention that the candidate had attendance issues or struggled to work with others. This information can help employers make a more informed decision about hiring candidates.
Reduction in hiring mistakes and turnoverEmployers can protect their valued time and resources by conducting a thorough reference check. Not only does this help reduce the risk of hiring mistakes, but it also ensures that candidates are suitable for both the organization and position – leading to improved job satisfaction amongst employees and lower turnover rates.
Enhancement of employer’s reputationFinally, conducting reference checks can enhance an employer’s reputation. Employers who take the time to conduct thorough reference checks demonstrate their commitment to hiring the right candidate and their dedication to creating a positive work environment.
Steps to Conducting Effective Reference ChecksConducting effective reference checks is a critical component of the hiring process. Employers can get important information on candidates’ work, experience, skills, and character just by following a deliberate approach. Don’t skip every little detail during the hiring process. The steps to conducting adequate reference checks include:
- Preparation before the reference check
- Making contact with the candidate’s references
- Asking the right questions during the reference check
- Documenting the results of the reference check
Preparation before the reference checkEmployers must prepare before conducting reference checks. They should review the candidate’s resume, job description, and interview notes. Employers then need to decide who will conduct the check, when it will happen, and how it will be documented. Get organized for effective reference checks.
Making contact with the candidate’s referencesImage by Tumiso From Pixabay After identifying the applicant’s references, make contact with the references in a professional manner. Interviews should explain the purpose of the reference check and provide any necessary information about the position and the organization. It’s also important to ask the reference if they have any time constraints or preferences for when the reference check should occur.
Asking the right questions during the reference checkGain valuable insights into a candidate’s work history, performance, and character by asking the right questions during a reference check. Here are some examples of powerful questions to ask:
- Can you confirm the candidate’s job title and dates of employment?
- How would you describe the candidate’s work performance?
- How did the candidate handle challenges or difficult situations?
- How would you describe the candidate’s communication skills and ability to work in a team?
- Would you hire the candidate again if given the opportunity?