It’s hard to determine who has less respect for reference checks: hiring managers or candidates. Today, hiring managers rarely conduct effective reference checks and, as a result, candidates have little motivation to maintain those past relationships.
Brad Smart, the author of the popular book “Topgrading: The Proven Hiring and Promoting Method That Turbocharges Company Performance”, describes an approach to reference checks called TORC – Threat Of Reference Check.
The TORC approach informs candidates at the beginning of the selection process they will be responsible for arranging reference check conversations with the hiring manager before they will be hired. When confronted with this requirement, unqualified candidates immediately drop out of the process. Smart claims 25% of the initial candidates withdraw from the selection process when they learn they have to reach out to their references.
Additionally, Topgrading interviewers remind candidates before interviews they will be checking their answers with references. This ensures more truthful responses in the interview and allows for making better hiring decisions. Reference check conversations become much more insightful.
Leaders who empower their hiring managers to use effective reference checks will make more successful hires.