Reference Checks

“If someone is recommended by a current employee, he must be okay.”

It’s perfectly natural to assume that, when one of your employees recommends someone for employment, he or she will do a good job; and, to be candid, most of the time it’s true. But there are those occasions when an employee is just trying to do a favor for a buddy or friend who really needs a job, without thinking about the consequences. Common sense would seem to suggest that no employee would intentionally put his or her job at risk by recommending someone who is more likely to fail than to succeed.

Another element that plays into this sort of situation is the possibility of a mismatch. The employee, trying merely to help a friend, recommends him or her for a position for which the friend simply isn’t qualified – not a happy situation for any of the parties involved. What to do? Well, first of all, any employer would be foolish not to be grateful for an in-house recommendation from a current employee. The key, however, is proceeding with a careful reference check – just as though the candidate happened to walk into the personnel office by chance. Most of the time, recommendations like these work out; but, like any hiring decision, it’s far better to check and be safe than not to check and be sorry!