Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Reference Checks - How Small Businesses Can Get To The Truth

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Reference Checks - How Small Businesses Can Get To The Truth

Although not exclusively a problem experienced by small businesses, carrying out effective reference checks is often an area which is overlooked or ignored. In part this is due to a lack of resources, although there is much evidence to suggest that many small businesses are genuinely unaware of the danger of not carrying out full and effective reference checking.

Of course, references aren't the only factor upon which a decision is made regarding the potential employment of a candidate, but they can reveal a good deal. However, it's not so much what a referee can provide in terms of information, advice, recommendations or concerns, it's what isn't said or revealed.

This may well be down to a referee feeling obligated to withhold certain potentially damaging information if it cannot be incontrovertibly backed up by evidence in case action is taken against them, but this isn't the only reason why crucial information may be withheld from a potential future employer.

A worrying percentage of employers surveyed said that they had discovered evidence which suggested or confirmed that reference checks had revealed that the referee in question was not the candidate's employer at all. In most cases the referee was only a colleague and friend of the candidate, who clearly had no authority in providing a reference. In other cases false employment records and references have been discovered to lead to friends and family members of the candidate.

But for many small businesses who simply don't have the resources to fully investigate a referee it can be very difficult to know whether the information received can be trusted. After all, if the candidate lies about their referee, what information are they trying to hide, and what other falsities may be included on their CV and application?

Of course, one basic piece of advice is to completely ignore the contact details on the CV. Instead, look up the publicly advertised contact number of the business or organisation, and ask to speak to the employer of the candidate in question in order to request a reference. This little tactic can often reveal incorrect information, which may immediately result in the application being binned.

But another piece of advice is to have reference checks carried out by an independent agency which specialises in carrying out employment screening. In the first stage these pre employment screening agencies are able to help advise on the level and depth of background checking necessary for the position being applied for. They are then able to use their extensive knowledge, resources and contact network to verify the referee and the reference, as well as carrying out a range of other security and background checks if appropriate. In this way potentially serious and costly mistakes can be avoided, helping to safeguard the business from fraud and other damaging consequences. -- If you're a small business owner or employer and need an agency to carry out comprehensive reference checks then visit CV Insight. They're a UK based agency which offers a range of affordable employment screening solutions. Source:

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