Reference checking has another application that employers can utilize (and might not have considered before).  A carefully prepared reference report can be used as an internal screening tool to assist in finding the best candidate for promotion or reassignment from within an organization.  As a matter of policy, many employers already promote from within before going outside the organization to hire someone new.

It’s a sensible and economical thing to do, particularly in larger organizations where the talent pool is a little deeper and current employees are, in most instances, known quantities.  Many job openings are simply posted within the organization and employees who feel they have the qualifications for the position may apply for it.

So, how does reference checking apply in situations like these?  The process is even more straightforward and uncomplicated than it would be if someone entirely new was being hired from the outside.  The process is essentially the same.  All the employer has to do is 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.  Doing a reference report on an internal candidate is the purest and, in many respects, the most understandable way to grasp the value of and the justification for the reference checking.  Clearly, the goal is to make the best possible hiring decision for the job to be filled.  What else could its purpose be?  Furthermore, promoting or reassigning an internal candidate should eliminate the need for any additional ancillary background checks, unless there’s some reason to believe some unseen problem exists that could affect future job performance!