Quick guide to Reference Checks

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While the pre-background checking process has changed massively in recent years, with a wealth of new checks contributing to further insights into candidates, reference checking was one of the earliest background checks, and almost all new employers look to past managers for insights into how candidates perform at work, and for confirmation of skills and professional achievements.

But traditional reference checking is a slow and cumbersome process, with candidates providing a list of references on their CV or application form, and HR departments contacting referees directly either by post, email, or phone. Referees then had to find the time to answer the reference request, which then must be processed by the new employer.

automated checking of employment references
Automated checking of employment references

This whole procedure could add weeks to the hiring timeline, affecting candidate engagement and in some cases, leading to employers bypassing reference checking altogether. Up to 20% of employers admit that they don’t always check references, but this is a dangerous tactic. A recent report found that 30% of people have lied on their resume, and the most common lie relates to work experience.

Traditional reference checking involved confirming dates and responsibilities, a rather binary check which didn’t add much to the understanding of the candidate or provide additional information which could indicate candidates’ strengths or areas to grow.

quick reference check
Quick reference check

But digital technology allows prospective employers to delve much deeper into a candidate’s skills, and foster a better understanding of their communication levels, teamwork, and problem-solving abilities, as well as being faster and more convenient for the referee.

The latest reference checks can be accessed from any mobile device, providing a much more convenient experience for the referee, and resulting in a higher response rate (up to 85%). Digital reference checks can also be carried out in an average turnaround time of 48 hours.

employment reference checks
Employment reference checks

As well as speed and convenience, the latest checks also result in richer data which can be proven, tracked, and protected via blockchain.

The structured reference format which is characteristic of digital reference checks creates a more consistent reference for easier comparison between candidates and can be tailored to each individual role or repeated across the board. Referees often feel more comfortable being honest in digital references, knowing that their responses are completely confidential, resulting in deeper insights which can be used to not only make better hiring decisions, but also to tailor onboarding and training for new staff.

background check references
Background check references

Our digital reference checking can be fully integrated into your applicant tracking system (ATS), and you can include references in candidates Veremark Career Passports, to use and compare data over time.

online reference check
Online reference check

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What background check do I need?

This depends on the industry and type of role you are recruiting for. To determine whether you need reference checks, identity checks, bankruptcy checks, civil background checks, credit checks for employment or any of the other background checks we offer, chat to our team of dedicated account managers.

Why should employers check the background of potential employees?

Many industries have compliance-related employment check requirements. And even if your industry doesn’t, remember that your staff have access to assets and data that must be protected. When you employ a new staff member you need to be certain that they have the best interests of your business at heart. Carrying out comprehensive background checking helps mitigate risk and ensures a safer hiring decision.

How long do background checks take?

Again, this depends on the type of checks you need. Simple identity checks can be carried out in as little as a few hours but a worldwide criminal background check for instance might take several weeks. A simple pre-employment check package takes around a week. Our account managers are specialists and can provide detailed information into which checks you need and how long they will take.

Can you do a background check online?

All Veremark checks are carried out online and digitally. This eliminates the need to collect, store and manage paper documents and information making the process faster, more efficient and ensures complete safety of candidate data and documents.

What are the benefits of a background check?

In a competitive marketplace, making the right hiring decisions is key to the success of your company. Employment background checks enables you to understand more about your candidates before making crucial decisions which can have either beneficial or catastrophic effects on your business.

What does a background check show?

Background checks not only provide useful insights into a candidate’s work history, skills and education, but they can also offer richer detail into someone’s personality and character traits. This gives you a huge advantage when considering who to hire. Background checking also ensures that candidates are legally allowed to carry out certain roles, failed criminal and credit checks could prevent them from working with vulnerable people or in a financial function.

Transform your hiring process

Request a discovery session with one of our background screening experts today.

State of Hiring and Background Checks Discrepancies

Veremark’s 2022 Annual Report is based on the background check data collected from over 100,000 checks from companies and professionals across 6 countries and 5 key industries last year.

This report focuses on the state of hiring and background check discrepancies and is an essential guide to all recruiters and HR professionals conducting hires, background checks and onboarding in 2022.

In this report, we discuss:  

  • What areas and factors can Background Checks discover?  
  • Where did the findings come from by country and sector?
  • Discrepancies by top 5 sectors
    • Fintech and Financial Services      
    • HR, Staffing and Recruiting      
    • Technology and Software      
    • Professional Services      
    • Business Process Outsourcing (BPO)
  • Discrepancies by top 6 countries
    • Estonia      
    • Singapore      
    • United Kingdom      
    • Australia & New Zealand      
    • India      
    • Philippines
Get your own copy!