Are you checking the references for your top candidates before offering them a job? You may be surprised to learn that most companies or hiring managers don’t bother making those calls, but that can lead to very bad hiring decisions. Some people think that it’s not worth their time since a reference is not likely to provide any useful information, but that isn’t necessarily true. There are a few things you can ask to make sure you get the best answers.

Can You Verify Their Dates of Employment?

The first question that you can ask, which can open up an entire conversation, is to verify their dates of employment. Sometimes a candidate will only put a month and year on their resume. You can see if they fudged it in either direction. If their dates are only off by a month, that’s not a concern. If they are off by several months, this could be a red flag. 

Why Did They Leave the Job?

You can also get a lot of information by asking why they left their position with the company. Sometimes they quit, sometimes they were terminated. And even if the company representative won’t give you many details, you can learn a lot from the language they use and their tone of voice. 

Would You Hire Them Again?

Similarly, asking if they would consider working with this person again can give you a lot of insight. For example, they may say the employee quit but they would work with them again. Or the employee was terminated and they would not. They may also have answers for layoffs that could be a yes or no answer. 

What Are They Like to Work With?

If they allow you to dig deeper, asking them about the person’s demeanor and attitude at work is a great way to learn more about them as an employee. Were they pleasant? Negative? Did they work well with others? Did they like routine or were they creative thinkers? There are millions of possible answers, but anything will give you insight.

What Else Should I Know About Them?

If you’ve made it past those questions, put the ball in the representative’s court. Give them a chance to tell you anything else that they might find important to say in regards to their former employee’s workstyle or experience. Are you asking the right reference questions? Talk to the team at ProStaff to learn more today.