Think references don’t ever say “Boo?” Think again. A few naysayers don’t believe that reference checking is effective because when you’re talking to the contacts a job candidate provides, they think you’re only going to get “treated” with candy and other comments that smell of roses. Just in time for Halloween, our Analytics Team (in a completely unscientific way) went trick-or-treating through the database of comments references provided as “areas for improvement.” We estimate that there are more than 800 million data points of reference feedback within SkillSurvey ReferenceTM. This includes ratings on job-specific behaviors asked by our surveys. It also includes 54 million verbatim comments directly submitted by references. Since it’s Halloween, the comments we found are grouped under the disguised character you may not be seeing in the interview.

Underperformer“Can’t meet clear expectations. Inconsistent performance.” “Unreliable and does not work to his full potential.” “Day-to-day attention to detail; if a task does not seem important, it doesn’t get full attention.”

Not-So-Honest Abe“Not always truthful” “Admit when she made a mistake and learn from it so it won’t be made again.” “He could be effective if he was honest and not manipulative.”

Yammerer“Talk less, listen more!” “Always wants to add his two-cents.” “Stop talking so much.”

Backstabber“Quick to blame others for her mistakes” “Is sometimes negative and talks badly about others behind their backs. This has a negative impact on office morale overall.”

Hothead“Sometimes has a short fuse.” “Improve patience and quick response to negative situations, and work on anger management.” “Needs to handle stress in a different manner.” “Needs to control frustration and anger and maintain self-control.”

Rulebreaker“Sometimes ‘no’ can mean ‘try not to get caught.’” “Follow guidelines, not what she thinks should be the guideline.”

Bull-headed“Can be stubborn and at times lacks flexibility. He will continually argue his point until you see it from his side.” “She speaks her mind whether you would like to hear it or not.” “Can come off as arrogant and belittling. Be somewhat less condescending.”

Space Invader“May take relationships to a more personal level sooner than others are comfortable doing.” “Gets too close, but does not cross the line.”

Potty-mouth“Swears all the time, she needs to watch her language.” “Used foul language on a regular basis, even after being written up about it. To improve, find better ways to express himself.”

Texter“Less texting while at work”

With the Pre-Hire 360 workflow in SkillSurvey ReferenceTM, each reference’s individual responses are confidential and are listed in a feedback report together with the insights of the candidate’s other references. The above examples are just a very tiny sampling of comments that references have provided as “areas for improvement.” There are also tons of comments on job candidates’ “work-related strengths” that references have provided, as well as numeric ratings of critical job-related behaviors. If you’d like to see how SkillSurvey ReferenceTM can help you get more detailed and candid feedback on your job candidates, check out this video.

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