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Reference Check Questions for Business Development

A career builder survey found that the average cost of a bad hire was nearly $15,000 among respondents, and the average cost of losing a good hire was nearly double that amount at $30,000. Bad hires aren’t just about the costs of hirings; they can affect things like your team’s productivity, engagement, and morale. 

At the same time, most team leaders and hiring managers feel pressure to land a new hire as soon as possible. Existing employees have a greater chance to experience burnout if they are shorthanded, which puts pressure on organizations to improve their time-to-hire. 

One way to get around this challenge–finding quality talent in a limited amount of time–is by leveraging advanced recruiting technologies, like a digital reference check. 

The Importance of Reference Check Questions for Business Development Positions

When you’re in need of a new business development position, you don’t have a lot of wiggle room for error. Business development managers and representatives help you make strategic decisions that can make lasting and impactful changes to your business model. Hiring the wrong person may steer you in the wrong direction and make wide-scope decisions that disrupt your entire sales strategy. 

Digital reference checks provide a safety net that allows you to verify resume information, a candidate’s history,  so you can verify candidate information.

Reference Check Questions for Business Development Positions

What was it like working with _____?

This is a great opener that will act as a warmup and help your reference recall their interactions with the candidate. 

What are some of _____’s greatest strengths and weaknesses?

This is another general question that allows your reference to identify both red and green flags. 

What was _____’s attitude like in the workplace? Were they enjoyable to work with? 

This question will give you a clear picture of what the candidate will bring to your workplace environment. 

How dedicated was _____ to finding new strategies that would enable your sales team to succeed?

This will help narrow the topic down to the business development field, allowing your reference to expand on your candidate’s experiences and dedication to their role. 

Was _____ a clear and transparent communicator? Why or why not?

Business development leaders will need to conceptualize, refine, and present bird’s-eye strategic decisions. This is a good question that will help you assess how effectively of a communicator they are. 

Can you provide an example of when _____ had to adapt or change their approach to a specific market/client?

Asking for an anecdote is a great way to get a concrete example that demonstrates the candidate’s skills and highlights their past accomplishments. 


Would you rehire _____? Why or why not?

This is one of the most important questions you could ask anyone for a reference check, regardless of what position you need to fill. It’s a polarizing question that asks the former employer/manager to identify any red (or green) flags. 

Should You Conduct Reference Checks at the Beginning or End of the Hiring Process for Management Positions?

It’s best to conduct reference checks at the beginning of the hiring process. If you wait until the end of the hiring process, you could face some serious setbacks. 

Here’s why:

  • Reference checks conducted at the beginning of the hiring process will help identify red flags as quickly as possible. You don’t want to waste your time or resources on a hire only to find out they aren’t a viable candidate at the end of the process. 
  • You can use your reference check answers to inform the interview process and narrow down your questions. Additionally, you can address any questions you have about a reference’s answers later in the interview. 
  • Waiting on reference checks might slow down your process. Even with automated reference checks, it might take some time for the references to respond. The sooner you send out your questions, the sooner you’ll get your responses and be able to finalize your decision. 

Automating the Reference Check Process for Business Development Positions

Automation, specifically digital 360 reference check automation, is a great way to give you both speed and quality of hire.

Automated reference check tools, like Crosschq, allow you to:

  • Gather candidate reports within 48 hours
  • Streamline your efforts directly from your ATS
  • Aggregate data on candidate skills, strengths, and weaknesses
  • Compare reference check scores with self-reference scores
  • Reduce your overall hiring turnaround time by 85 percent

The Importance of Reference Checking Business Development Positions and Quality of Hire

Crosschq’s automated reference check technology can help you find better candidates without losing out on quality of hire. Our proprietary technology will give you key insights and streamlined reference check responses in a matter of days, so you can identify any red flags and make an informed decision sooner. 

Crosschq’s “Q” Report looked at 24+ million pre-hire and post-hire decisions we’ve helped leaders make, along with the radical insights from those data points that can help you hire, retain, and develop talent. Sign up for a demo today to learn how Crosschq can help you land quality hires.

Mark Ko

by Mark Ko

Content Writer

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