What Red Flags Can You Uncover In A Reference Check?

As you look at candidates for a job you've posted, you may wonder if reference checking is a good idea. After all, what can you really learn from someone's references? 

First, understand that a reference check is not an interrogation. You're not trying to trip up the person or catch them in a lie. Instead, you're simply trying to get a better sense of who they are and whether they would be a good fit for your company. Still, this means you may be able to uncover some red flags. Here are a few you can find during a reference check.

The Reference Is Reluctant to Recommend the Person

If the reference is hesitant to recommend the person, you should have some questions. They may not be outright negative, but if they seem wishy-washy, that's not a good sign. An enthusiastic response is best.

The Reference Has Nothing but Negative Things to Say

Some references might be extremely negative. If everything they say is negative, you may want to reconsider hiring that person. An exception can be made if you are able to find another reference with a more well-rounded view of the candidate.

The Reference Says the Person Was Let Go for Performance Issues

If the reference says the person was let go due to performance issues, that's definitely a red flag. You don't want to hire someone who has a history of poor performance, especially if it's reported by more than one reference.

The Reference Says the Person Quit Without Notice

Somebody who quits without notice, according to a reference, is potentially not a good candidate. This shows a lack of commitment and responsibility, which are qualities you likely don't want in an employee.

The Reference Is Uncooperative

If the reference is uncooperative or seems unwilling to answer your questions, you may wonder what's going on. They could be trying to hide something, or they may simply not want to talk about the person. Either way, this could be an indicator that you want to ask other references about the candidate.

Reference Checking Can Be Easier

When you're conducting reference checks, be on the lookout for these red flags. They could help you weed out candidates who are not right for the job.

Of course, you need good reference-checking methods to uncover these red flags. Reference checking processes can help you spot major concerns. You don't have to collect, store, and contact references on your own.

Contact a local reference checking service to learn more.