Both background checks and reference checks are a function of the hiring process. It is the last step before you offer the candidate a position. It is the process of verifying if the candidate is who they say that they are and their suitability for your organization. That being said, many people are unclear on the differences between a background check and a reference check and believe that a background check is enough. A background check is a confirmation of everything that the candidate has put on their resume. It can include and is not limited to, the verification of job titles, such as dates of employment and sometimes salary. It often includes verification of education, diplomas as well as certificates and association memberships. It will also include others things not listed on a resume such as criminal checks, credit ratings and drivers’ abstracts. Social media searches are often included in a background check. A qualitative reference check, sometimes called an investigative check, is an interview of work related references that give you a glimpse on how the candidate works and how they have performed in the past. Asking the right questions will give you a sense of what the candidate can do for your organization and how they work best. A thorough investigative reference check will give you a glimpse into the candidate’s past performances, triumphs and failures. Bringing the wrong person into your organization can be costly. It is worth the investment to do both a background check and reference check before making a hiring decision.