The other day somebody called us and asked if we conduct reverse references. She further explained that she would like to hire us to call her referees and uncover what they would say about her.
We suggested that she contact her referees and asked them what they think and would say were her strengths and development areas.
The woman on the phone, who did not identify herself said that she was told by many HR professionals that this was a common practice to ensure that her referees are not slandering her and inhibiting her ability to get a job.
Slander, by definition, is making a false statement that is damaging to a persons’ reputation.
If the information that the referee gives is honest, regardless of how negative it is, it is not slander and it is entirely appropriate.
A candidate should always contact their references before giving out their numbers or email addresses. By asking permission the person can decline giving references if they have nothing positive to say.
It is also recommended that the candidate tell their referees about the position which they applied for and ask if the referee believes that they would be a good fit, or why not?
References are an important step in the recruitment process and should not be overlooked or minimized. Typically, employers use references to make their final decision about the candidate.
Needless to say, that we do not conduct reference references.