Back to Blogs

Hiring 101: Conducting Reference Checks


Hiring the right person for a job can be a daunting task, especially in today’s competitive job market. With so many qualified candidates vying for the same position, it can be challenging to identify the best fit for your business. That’s why conducting a reference check is critical to the hiring process. Not only can it help you verify the information provided by the candidate, but it can also provide insights into their work ethic, character, and interpersonal skills.   

In this blog post, we’ll dive into the ins and outs of conducting a reference check and share some tips and best practices that can help you make an informed hiring decision. So, if you’re ready to learn how to conduct a reference check that will help you hire the right person for the job, read on!  

Choosing the Right References  

The first step in conducting a reference check is to choose the right references to contact. While most candidates will provide references who will speak positively about them, it’s important to find references who can provide a balanced perspective on the candidate’s work history and character. Here are some tips for choosing the right references:  

  • Look for references who can speak to the candidate’s job performance. This could include former managers, supervisors, or colleagues who worked closely with the candidate.  
  • Seek references for those who have worked with the candidate in a similar role to the one they are applying for. This will help you understand how well the candidate’s skills and experience align with the requirements of the job.  
  • Consider seeking out references who have worked with the candidate more recently. This will give you a better sense of the candidate’s current abilities and work habits.  

Preparing for the Reference Check  

Once you have identified the right references, it’s important to prepare for the reference check to ensure that you get the most out of the conversation. Here are some things you should do to prepare:  

  • Review the candidate’s resume and job application. This will help you focus on the key areas you want to explore during the reference check.  
  • Develop a set of questions to ask each reference. This will help you ensure that you cover all the key areas you want to explore during the reference check. Here are some questions to glean the insights you need to best understand your new hire: 
    1. When they are stressed, how does that manifest itself in the work environment? 
    2. When was their last performance review? What were the areas they excelled in and what were areas you identified they need to strengthen? How did they take that feedback? Did they implement that feedback?
    3. What are their key deliverables? Did they achieve those? Why or why not?
    4. Would you rehire the candidate?
  • Make sure you have the reference’s correct contact information. You don’t want to waste time trying to track down the right person to speak to.  

Conducting the Reference Check  

When it’s time to conduct the reference check, there are some best practices to keep in mind to ensure that you get the information you need. Here are some tips for conducting a successful reference check:  

  • Introduce yourself and explain the purpose of the call. Let the reference know that you are calling to learn more about the candidate’s work history and character.  
  • Ask open-ended questions that allow the reference to provide detailed answers. Avoid yes or no questions, which may not give you the depth of information you need.  
  • Listen carefully to the reference’s answers and ask follow-up questions if needed. Don’t be afraid to probe deeper to get more information or clarify a reference’s response.  
  • Take notes during the call. This will help you remember the details of the conversation and refer back to them later.  
  • Thank the reference for their time and input. It’s important to show your appreciation for their willingness to provide feedback on the candidate.  

Following Up After the Reference Check   

Once you have completed the reference check, it’s a good idea to follow up with the candidate and the references to provide an update on the hiring process. Here are some tips for following up:  

  • Let the candidate know that you have completed the reference check and when they can expect to hear back from you.  
  • Provide feedback to the references on how the candidate’s interview and reference check went. This shows your appreciation for their time and input.  
  • If you decide not to hire the candidate, let them know as soon as possible. It’s important to provide closure and respect the candidate’s time and effort.  

Conducting a reference check is an important step in the hiring process that can help you make a more informed decision when choosing the right candidate for your business. By choosing the right references, preparing for the reference check, conducting the call using best practices, and following up with the candidate and references, you can ensure that you get the information you need to make the best hiring decision. Taking the time to conduct a thorough reference check can save you time and money in the long run by helping you avoid hiring the wrong candidate for your business. 

At Filta, we place a high emphasis on the importance of conducting a thorough reference check during our recruitment process. By taking this step, we are able to gather valuable information about a candidate’s past performance, work ethic, and overall suitability for the role they are applying for.  

Not only does this help us make more informed hiring decisions, but it also ensures that we are bringing on board candidates who have a strong track record of success and are likely to excel in their role to help you with your business. Ultimately, investing the time and effort into conducting a thorough reference check can pay dividends in the long run, helping to save your business time and money by avoiding costly hiring mistakes. 

If you want more employment and hiring advice like this, feel free to reach out to us at or our send a message to our Co-Founder and Chief Growth Officer, Nerissa Chaux at and she will be happy to discuss with you everything that you want to know!

Check out other blogs:

Five Reasons Why Many Companies are Adapting to the Work From Home Arrangement

How to Transform Your Business Operations with Filta

How to Take Care of Yourself While Working from Home