​​Reference Check Before or After the Interview

by Mark Ko
Reference Check Before or After the Interview

Compatibility is always an important question when you’re seeking to fill an open role. Whether or not the candidate has the right skill set, experiences, mindset, work-culture values, and other factors all go into the question of compatibility. One of the ways you can ensure your new hire is the best candidate for the job is through a reference check. 

When you should conduct a reference check–either before or after an interview–is an important question. While there are pros and cons to both, you should be leveraging your reference check before the interview, as we’ll show below. Read on for a detailed breakdown of when to conduct a reference check.  

When to Conduct a Reference Check?

A reference check is a pre-hire assessment that allows you, the employer, to reach out to former peers, team leaders, and employers to gain insights on a candidate and their previous work experience. Traditionally, hiring teams have conducted reference checks manually, which takes up time and energy from your hiring team. Today, digital reference checks, like Crosschq, allow you to get automated reference checks, which are faster, easier, and more efficient for your team. 

While there are benefits to conducting reference checks at the end of the interview, it will benefit your team the most by conducting your check before the interview.

Why Conduct a Reference Check Before the Interview

There are several benefits to conducting a reference check before the interview: 

  • Conducting a reference check before the interview will ensure you get your reference check sooner, limiting the possibility that your candidates accept another offer while you’re waiting for responses.
  • If you identify red flags early, like a candidate selecting an unqualified referee to speak to their experiences, you can eliminate unqualified candidates earlier in the process saving both of you time.
  • It gives you the opportunity to create interview questions for the candidate based on the reference check responses.
  • Reference checks will guide the interview process, helping you to better gauge candidate compatibility and improve quality of hire.
  • It can also help guide your interview process and can help you better gauge if the candidate is fit for the role by identifying skill gaps and candidate competency.
  • You ‘ll get a better pulse on a candidate’s skill-set, experiences, and suitability as a cultural fit for your organization. 

At Crosschq, we automate digital reference checks before an interview to improve your hiring experience, increase your quality of hire, improve your efficiency, and boost your time to maturity in hiring intelligence.

Why Conduct a Reference Check After the Interview

Although conducting a reference check before an interview has many benefits, there are a few benefits to conducting a reference check after an interview:

  • You’ll get an unbiased personal assessment of the candidate by waiting to conduct the reference check until after the interview.
  • In the scenario where you are interviewing two candidates, conducting a reference check after both their interviews can help you make a final decision.

Should You Conduct a Reference Check Before or After the Interview?

Conducting a digital reference check before an interview occurs can benefit a hiring manager and team more than after the interview.

As previously mentioned, completing the reference check before the interview helps:

  • Eliminate candidates moving to competitors
  • Identify red flags early in the hiring process
  • Guide your interview questions and gauge focus points based on the candidate’s strengths and weaknesses
  • Assess the candidate’s match in terms of the firm's culture and core values

All in all, the benefits of conducting a digital reference check prior to an interview far outweigh the benefits of conducting it after the interview.

Technology for Conducting a Reference Check Before the Interview

360 digital reference checks offer cutting-edge technologies that allow you to hire faster, more accurately, and more easily than ever. With an advanced reference check technology, you can:

  • Complete reference checks 95% faster  than traditional reference checks
  • Create new candidate pools by storing reference information in a database
  • Leverage comprehensive insights and analytics to measure candidate fit and competencies
  • Benefit from automated reference checks, so your team can focus on important human tasks
  • Deliver a great referee experience, increasing your response rate and the quality of your reference check answers

Getting Started With Reference Checks Before the Interview

Reference checks can be conducted based on a hiring manager's personal preferences or what best suits their team.

However, conducting a reference check before the interview will set you up for success more than waiting until after the interview. By conducting the reference check as early as possible, you can improve your time-to-hire, ask better questions, identify red flags early, and more.

Sign up for a demo to take the guesswork out of hiring and get the most out of your reference checks today. 

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Get started and see how you can optimize your hiring process, improve Quality of Hire and drive real business impact today.

  • Increase Quality of Hire by 34%
  • Boost recruiter efficiency by 28%
  • Reduce time to Hiring Intelligence maturity by 84%

Mark Ko

Content Writer

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