Reference Check vs Employment Verification: Exploring the differences

What is the Difference Between a Reference Check and Employment Verification?

Crosschq Staff

by Crosschq Staff

Reference checks and employment verification might seem like interchangeable terms, but the two are actually seeking to confirm and evaluate different sets of data. 

Knowing the difference between a reference check vs employment verification and knowing the most effective way to approach each can be a lifesaver when navigating the hiring process for prospective new employees. 

First, let’s dive into reference checks, a common form of information gathering and verification. 

What Is a Reference Check?

A reference check, typically conducted via phone or email, is the process of the prospective employer engaging with a previous employer, in order to get a better understanding of a candidate’s capabilities, aptitude and the likelihood that the candidate would thrive in the work environment to which they are applying. 

Employment verification, on the other hand, seeks to verify very specific information, through an employment check, which verifies specific dates, the name of the employer, and the specific job title stated on the resume, to ensure that the applicant has provided correct and accurate information. 

Now that we know the difference between a reference check vs employment verification, two common forms of vetting, let’s look at how each works a bit more closely.  

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Reference Checks Explained

Reference checks function in a variety of ways and can be leveraged using many of the increasingly available online resources at the fingertips of modern employers. 

Reference checks seek to not only understand and fill out the full picture of a prospective candidate, but to assist the employer in gaining as much information as possible, within the legal and ethical bounds of the job hunt, so that an employer can source the best possible candidate for the role or position. 

Reference checks may seek to provide further context after an employment check and may seek to search for a more nuanced understanding of numerical and other quantitative data that has been presented on a CV. 

For example, a CV might list the amount of time and money invested into a particular company project, as well as the financial outcomes, but only a reference can tell you about what it was like to work on that project day in and day out, and how the applicant handled responsibility and stress. 

Having strong strategies in place for leveraging reference checks is a key factor in navigating the hiring process. 

How to Leverage Reference Checks

Implementing specific strategies for leveraging reference checks is necessary to make sure the process doesn’t become unmanageable. Employers can often become overwhelmed by the amount of time they have to spend seeking out information and sifting through data. 

Implementing a streamlined process can ensure that nothing falls through the cracks and that due diligence doesn’t allow for any corrupted, falsified, or illegal  information to disrupt or derail the hiring process. 

If an employer isn’t diligent and doesn’t have the assistance and guidance necessary, they can fall prey to accepting information or basing a hiring decision on information that doesn’t follow state or national guidelines, which could result in costly litigation. 

Keeping organized, efficient and aware of the rules and regulations of reference checking can allow for a smooth, hassle free process that will yield optimal results. 

Check References Early and Often

When hiring a new employee, checking references early and often is a must. You want to always see multiple references for an employee so that you can get a very well rounded perspective of who the employee was at multiple levels. 

Gaining a greater understanding of this early on, can save your organization the unnecessary loss of time and money that often goes into vetting candidates who would not be a quality fit for a specific position. 

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Digital Reference Checks: The Future of HR

We live in a fascinating time, where more of the world is becoming available to us online, each and every day. 

There are many data tools and services available that make the reference process streamlined and smooth so that you can discern the necessary information about your candidate without having to waste countless hours searching for specific documents, trying to track people down on the phone, and organizing an ever growing pile of complicated data. 

Crosschq Has You Covered 

When conducting reference checks or employment check verification, it’s best to partner with an organization that has the savvy and know-how to streamline the process for you. 

Utilizing the capabilities of a recruitment platform like Crosschq can truly make the life of your company or organization much easier. Powered by its Talent Intelligence Cloud™, Crosschq is a data-driven reference checking and analytics platform that helps you source, screen, recruit, onboard, and retain the best diverse talent.

To learn more, schedule a free demo