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How important are reference checks to your hiring decision?

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A survey from Accountemps finds that the last step in the hiring process can still make-or-break a hiring decision – senior managers report they remove approximately one in three candidates (34%) from consideration for a position after conducting their reference check.

This survey was conducted by an independent research firm citing responses from more than 2,800 senior managers at companies with 20 or more employees in 28 major US cities.

Further, when quizzed on what information hiring managers hope to get out of reference checks, a majority of respondents (38%) said they were looking for a view into the applicant’s strengths and weaknesses.

Close to one in five said they look for a description of past job duties and experience (22%), and a similar number said they seek confirmation of job title and dates of employment (19%).

More details in the graph below:


Michael Steinitz, executive director of Accountemps, said: “Too often, this (reference checks) step is an afterthought, but candidates need to treat it with care and practice proper etiquette. If a reference is caught off guard by a hiring manager’s call, it could impact the conversation or, worse, halt your candidacy altogether.”

Graphic / Accountemps
Lead image / StockUnlimited

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