Reference checking external candidates for positions within your organization is one of the most important aspects of an overall background check. But did you know that reference checking is also a great tool when your company is considering promoting internal candidates or reassigning them to other departments within the company?

A carefully prepared reference report can be used as an internal screening tool to assist in finding the best candidate for internal promotion or reassignment from within an organization. In fact, references for internal promotion should be part of any internal job posting. As a matter of policy, many employers conduct an internal interview process before going outside the organization to consider other candidates. A focus on internal promotion is a sensible and economical practice, particularly in larger organizations where the talent pool is rich and current employees are usually known quantities. Many new job openings are simply posted within the organization, and ambitious employees who qualify for the job description apply for one of the internal positions.

At Barada Associates, our expertise in background screening professionals places a strong focus on vetting references for internal promotion. There are a wide range of benefits that reduce risk, lower human resource effort and provide greater insights into the qualifications and talents of your existing employees.

How to Reference Check Internal Candidates

Before considering the benefit of internal reference checks, understand the process is actually more straightforward than checking references for an outside candidate. While conventional resume practice includes three references, employers should adopt a policy whereby all employees are made aware of the fact that in-house references are needed as part of the response to every internal job posting. This policy nurtures a culture of support wherein interested applicants feel a team of peers and managers will assist them in their career goals.

The primary goal of an internal reference report is to make the best possible hiring decision for the job to be filled.  Furthermore, promoting or reassigning an internal candidate should eliminate the need for any additional ancillary background checks, unless there’s a security need or other reason to screen for unknown problems that could affect future job performance.

Benefits of Reference Checking Internal Candidates

Interviewing internal and external references is an exceptional research tool to understand how internal candidates perform in their current position and how their skills suit the specific position. For companies of all sizes, the hiring manager needs to fill the open position with the most skilled internal candidate. The ability to gain valuable insight from a reference quickly is highly beneficial and a unique benefit of internal hiring practices.

Some of the benefits associated with doing a reference check on an internal candidate include:

  • Effective – The candidate is already an employee of the company. Therefore, unless an outside agency is used, no waiver would be required to discuss job performance with the candidate’s superiors, peers, or subordinates. If that’s the case, it would merely require that an authorization form be signed to allow references to be contacted.
  • Transparent – People asked to serve as references for the candidate seeking the promotion or reassignment wouldn’t have to be concerned about any no-comment company policy since it’s a completely internal exercise. In other words, the comments made by references would not be leaving the company. There would be no need to worry about the propriety of offering up honestly held opinions or stating documented facts in an internal reference-checking exercise.
  • Efficient – There would be no question about the legitimacy of the caller or the purpose of the call.  What could be more straightforward than someone within the HR department or the hiring manager talking to someone within the same company? So, co-workers, superiors, or subordinates asked to serve as references would not only know the purpose of the call, but they would also feel more at ease responding to reference questions. Actually, when you think about it, this exercise isn’t all that different, conceptually, from an ordinary performance review during which input is sought from supervisors to build the actual performance evaluation.
  • Relevant – Often external applicants cannot provide the most current and relevant reference. When responding to an internal job posting, it is much easier for people seeking the promotion or the reassignment to provide the names of appropriate people to serve as their references since everyone involved with the process already understands why it’s being done.
  • Reduces Costs – Offering promotions or reassignments to current employees usually means that the individual is very familiar with the company and its mode of operation.  From the internal job posting through the job interview, an internal candidate most often reduces the effort of the hiring manager. In-house promotions and transfers are typically simpler to execute – and less costly.
  • Accountable – Lastly, the integrity of the exercise will be increased because there will be a higher level of accountability from references since everyone involved in the process will know who was being contacted. This doesn’t guarantee, however, that everything will always work out. Making sure the internal candidate is the right person for the job is just as important as it would be in the careful evaluation of an outside candidate.  It’s just a little easier to carry out the exercise when it’s somebody who’s already on board.

Contact Barada Associates for Background Screening Services

Whether you’re promoting or reassigning an internal candidate or hiring someone from the outside for a new position within your company, it’s important to conduct a comprehensive background check. That’s where Barada Associates can help. Founded in 1979 as one of the nation’s first employment screening businesses, Barada Associates has developed a reputation as the premier provider of reference reports. Contact us today to request a quote or schedule a meeting.