Who Ruined Referencing?

Here’s the diagnostics...

Forget the 3310 to iPhone transformation. Hiring has had a revolution in the last 15 years too. We have all sorts of sophisticated tools and measures for assessing candidates. Usually with the aid of technology. One tool that hasn’t progressed is referencing. In fact, it’s regressed.

What’s changed?


Referencing has been abused by intermediaries fishing for leads. Plus people are more cautious about sharing data in 2017. This abuse and misuse has destroyed the trust. Causing skepticism in referencing. So checks are now too late to be useful, or not made at all.

In 2010, 90% of employers would reference candidates for technical jobs (London), but today only 33% of employees take references. This is a broken tool. Here are the 2 problems we face.

Problem 1. DATA ABUSE

Referencing used to be the №1 competency tool. Now it’s a validation check to back up yesterday’s decisions. Simply to check there are no ‘skeletons in the closet’.

Referencing is now conducted at offer stage. Being fashionably late has relegated referencing from being a competency tool - into a last minute sanity check. Hence, we now have the phrase “reference check”.


This is a 2 part series. Follow us on Medium, Twitter or Slack to see our solution.

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