Guest blog post by Zach Lahey, Research Analyst, Aberdeen Group

In Aberdeen Group’s recent study, we addressed how online reference checking in the talent acquisition process revolutionizes hiring. Conducting reference checks earlier in the process ensures that candidates can truly handle the work expected of them, and helps verify that the candidates who make it to the interview stage and beyond actually fit the job, the company’s culture and the hiring manager’s expectations. In fact, businesses that use reference checks at the beginning of hiring are 19% more likely to retain their first-year employees. Ultimately, timely online reference checks enable HR to make more informed hiring decisions. Consider the following five steps to elevate your hiring process.

  • Online reference checks provide an unfiltered picture of candidates. This is especially important, as SHRM estimates it can cost up to five times an employee’s annual salary to replace a bad hire.
  • Ease references’ qualms about the overall process. With everything conducted online instead of over the phone, candidates’ references can feel comfortable that they’re sharing feedback confidentially. Organizations get a better picture of the past performance of a candidate. Businesses that conduct reference checks struggle less to find the critical skills necessary in the labor pool.
  • Obtain a 360-degree view of candidates’ capabilities, skills, and abilities. By combining online reference checks with pre-hire assessments, HR can get specific and quantifiable insights about candidates. Best-in-Class businesses grasp the importance of pre-hire assessments and are 45% more likely than All Others to use them in the hiring process.
  • Hone your organization’s definitions for successful hiring based on current top performers. You need to have a clear idea of success for candidates based on current employees. Best-in-Class companies understand the value of such insight and are committed to defining success to make better hiring decisions. In fact, they are 2.1 times more likely to have definitions for success of top performers to help hire better employees.
  • Incorporate references into your talent pipeline. Online reference checks enable organizations to connect with passive, potential candidates as they usually have similar skills and backgrounds, or work at the same places as the candidates themselves. References are often great fits for other requisitions and the company as a whole.

Learn more in the full report: Online Reference Checking: A New, Strategic Focus in the Age of the Candidate, published by the Aberdeen Group.

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