Stop Calling Candidate References

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Are you still checking candidate references through a drawn out game of phone tag?  Let’s be honest — how many of your reference calls are actually returned?Maybe you hear back from four people out of the ten phone calls you made, this means that 60% of your recruitment efforts result in wasted time. There has to be a better way to improve response rates, save time, get better candidate insights and develop a talent pool, right?

Checking references isn’t something that can be taken lightly, especially in healthcare. Employers must ensure that they are hiring top candidates to provide high quality care for their patients and residents, and to remain compliant with regulatory bodies. In some states, there are even laws governing the requirement of employment references. For example, the state of Pennsylvania has a law requiring all home care agencies and registries to acquire at least two satisfactory employment references prior to hiring direct care workers. With the help of reference checking software, healthcare organizations will be able to provide the CMS with easy to access online documentation of reference checks for all employees.

If you’re considering implementing reference checking software, here are four questions to consider before selected reference assessment software:

1. Does the tool use questionnaires that are job relevant?

Ideally, an automated reference checking solution will work in conjunction with a suite of tools that includes a behavioral assessment component. Look for a reference checking solution that integrates with behavioral assessments of healthcare workers who are already doing (and already have done) this job well elsewhere within your organization.

2. Does this tool protect the confidentiality of the reference provider?

Most references want to avoid saying something critical about former colleagues. Automated reference checking tools that protect confidentiality can get around this barrier by consolidating multiple references’ responses into one report. Tools that protect confidentiality inform the reference of this fact at the beginning of the questionnaire and generate more candidate responses.

3. Can you follow up with references for further information?

Another key to getting high-quality data from your reference check is to include a question that requests the opportunity to follow up with that reference for more information. A reference check may uncover information your hiring manager will want to explore further with the reference. Planting the seed in the reference’s mind that you may be back in touch (if they’re open to it) to ask follow-up questions regarding a candidate’s behavior will facilitate a quicker and smoother follow-up. In addition, in the highly specialized world of healthcare recruitment, a good reference checking solution should also allow you to offer the references themselves the opportunity to be contacted for future employment opportunities at your organization.

4. Is the report actionable, easy to interpret and can it be used for additional interviewing?

Automated reference checking tools ease the labor-intensive burden of phone-based reference checking. Further opportunities for time savings are available with tools that provide a clear path from data to next action by gathering information during the reference checking process. These reports show where a candidate fits well and where he’s off the mark. For example, if the candidate is hired, what areas would be good investments in terms of his development? The answers to questions like this one are clearly spelled out with tools that provide actionable reporting and a summary of the results in “plain English.”

With the help of an automated reference checking solution, healthcare organizations can create more efficiencies in their HR department. The time that recruiters used to spend playing phone tag and tracking down references can be reallocated to getting to know prospective candidates and focusing on providing a high quality candidate experience.


Want to learn more about how you can simplify your reference checking process? 

You’ll learn how five leading healthcare organizations have improved their recruitment processes with automated reference checking and the benefits experienced by HR, hiring managers, and candidates alike.whitepaper-download

About The Editorial Staff

The Editorial Staff is a team of writers with a passion for helping healthcare organizations manage their biggest and most important investment: their employees.