Reference check is not standard. Smaller businesses typically don’t have the manpower or the resources to conduct thorough reference checks, which could cost hundreds of dollars. Conversely, larger companies carry out reference tests, but with different degrees of thoroughness. Unlike the applicant’s typical performance-related concerns, companies typically conduct background checks for security and liability reasons.
A comprehensive pre-hire review consists of an employer reviewing court records, vehicle reports, credit reports, identity records, possible aliases, and various other types of review. My informal investigation found that a significant number of applicants had motor vehicle law violations, poor creditworthiness, and collection agency records. In addition, almost a third of applicants have inconsistencies in their résumés relating to previous employment. some have criminal records; some report imprecisely on the level of education; and some test positive for illegal drug use. All of these results warrant that companies conduct such pre-hire reviews.
However, the applicant’s concern arises less from a logical or legal than from an emotional point of view. The question that plagues most people in transition is: What will my previous boss or HR at my previous company reveal about me and my previous performance? From a practical point of view, references are made using two methods. The formal job is done by the human resources department and its value is limited as it is limited by law to answering only basic questions about the title, date or length of employment, and possibly examining whether or not the company would be hiring. However, an informal reference check is carried out through personal contacts in the industry. This is the one on the Q.T. and cannot be controlled or restricted. The reputation in the industry is important here. Building such a reputation is a slow, conscious, and often challenging process. Wrecking it can be quick – and difficult to recover. This is the one that comes with consequences and pain.
Every applicant should have a list of at least three references. Employers are looking for previous managers, possibly from different employers. Most importantly, you should ask for permission before adding a name to your reference list. Keep your references up-to-date with developments during your job search. Many people don’t stay in communication with their references, which results in being caught off guard and surprised when contacted.