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Discrimination or Due Diligence? The Perils of the Reference Check


This article was submitted by Advorto

The latest jobs market figures from REC (Recruitment and Employment Confederation) reiterate the unrelenting pressure on HR to source talent quickly. Demand for staff is at a 21 month high and candidate availability remains in freefall. As the pressure mounts to hire quickly, skipping the reference check has become routine for some employers. But for those that carry out this essential part of the hiring process, the situation is becoming more hazardous.

The problem of missed reference checks

A recent survey reveals the extent of the problem with reference checks[1].

  • Nearly a quarter of candidates (23%) aren’t asked for character or employment references following their job application. Of those that provide names of referees, nearly one in four weren’t pursued by their prospective employer.
  • Nearly half of candidates (45%) admitted to providing false information to a potential employer, specifically exaggerating their experience and qualifications. A similar number took advantage of the gaps in the employer’s hiring process to improve their chances of securing a job offer by providing false information in their job application.