Ensuring you have a strong recruitment process, including background checking is critical to risk management in our businesses.  The financial and organisational costs of re-doing recruitment over and over again can be heartbreaking.  Without launching into a best practice recruitment lesson here, suffice it to say that confirming the employment history of your preferred applicant is extremely high on the list of probity checking.

However, if you are doing the right thing by sticking to your guns and conducting reference checks, be warned!  There are fakers out there who are offering to act as referees for job seekers who are willing to pay for the service.
We received a blog recently that saw us all shaking our heads and so we researched the information provided and thought it was definitely worth advising our members about.

Don’t think that these fakers are on the other side of the world because they’re not, in fact, they are right here in our own backyard.  A Perth-based web site is offering  job-seekers the fake reference service for $99.00 for the first month, $29.00 for each month after that or for a double reference, $149.00 for the first month and $35.00 thereafter.

The  service provides a referee name and a telephone number for use on a job-seeker’s resume and when that number is contacted, you can expect the best possible reference to be given!

Before you throw your hands in the air and decide that employment history/reference checking is just too hard, then consider this – is the whole resume a fake?  Yes, there are also web sites offering to prepare fake resumes as well.

But, don’t lose hope.  If you are concerned about your reference checking process, then keep these tips in mind:

  • The reason you are conducting a reference check is to confirm the stated work history and because the applicant’s past performance is a pretty good indicator of future work performance in your business.

  • Don’t contact referees until you have interviewed your preferred applicant and during the interview, confirm the relationship between your applicant/interviewee and the referee recorded on the resume.  Is the referee a Supervisor who can give you a clear picture of the work habits of your interviewee or is it his best mate?

  • Preferably, phone office numbers not mobiles – again, are you phoning the office or a mate of your applicant?

  • If a referee from the last position held is not listed, ask your applicant why not?

  • Don’t rely on just one reference check.