Reference Check

Throughout my career I have had the pleasure of interviewing and hiring dozens of people. Sometimes, resumes and cover letters come with references, sometimes they don’t, but once a candidate is chosen, I am a firm believer in checking references – at least three.

If you are a cynic, it is easy to think reference checking might be a waste of time. I mean after all, what candidate would ever list someone as a reference who would say anything less than glowing things? You’d be shocked.

One time I called the very first reference on a candidate’s resume and once I introduced myself, the individual on the other end of the phone said, “He listed ME as a reference? Wow, that really surprises me. He was a terrible employee and I told him as much, several times, before I fired him.”

We all make decisions and declarations based on references of all kinds – in this case by references, I am referring to things we know to be true. But think about this – what happens when we don’t fully understand the references on which we are basing these decisions?

Today I bring you three stories that illustrate the point: […]