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Importance of checking job references bolstered by study's findings

Dec 07, 2012 Quinn Thomas

A normal part of the hiring process for companies is a request for references who have previously worked with a prospective employee. It's a logical assumption that job seekers will try to put their best foot forward by listing people who can speak well of their employment track record. That's not necessarily true, a new study from CareerBuilder found. The survey of employers showed that 62 percent of hiring managers had been given contact information for people who had nothing good to say about the candidates. And worse, 29 percent experienced the discovery of a fake reference on job seekers' applications, which translates into three out of 10 job hunters lying about their contacts. The findings justify the importance of checking a job candidate's background thoroughly through background screening and verification of a candidate's claims about their employment history. It isn't as if job references are taken lightly by employers. About 80 percent of the nearly 2,500 hiring professionals contacted for the CareerBuilder study said they check references, including 16 percent who call them before the job interview takes place. Of the 69 percent of hiring managers who said they were influenced by individuals say about the candidates, 47 percent developed a less favorable opinion of the job seeker.