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Mastering Reference Checks: Strategies for Success

Mastering Reference Checks: Strategies for Success

Reference checks – an important yet time-consuming and error-prone process. As I’m sure you know, reference checking usually requires HR professionals to contact the candidate, request reference details, chase down the referees, and manually document the information. But, what if you could skip all that hassle, get your reference information quickly and clearly, and ensure that everyone involved has a positive experience? This is where tools like an HRIS can help.

Using the ‘reference checking module’ of platforms such as Martian Logic, you can streamline the reference checking process with automations and enhance efficiency, alignment, and compliance. And with the convenience of mobile-enabled forms and questionnaires, candidates and referees can give you the information you need in a prompt manner. It’s an efficient solution for everyone involved – candidates, referees, and HR teams. So, let’s jump into today’s blog where we explore how you can master reference checks and enjoy a more effective hiring process.


1 – Customisable, Branded & Personalised Questionnaires



Reference checks can tell you a lot about past performance, work ethic, and cultural fit. However, the information you need can vary based on the roles candidates are applying for. Take, for example, a managerial role. You’d probably want to inquire about their proven leadership skills. But if you’re hiring an administrative assistant, leadership might not be high on the priority list. That is why, with an HRIS such as Martian Logic, you can create custom questionnaires that can pertain to specific roles, departments, locations, and more. This helps in obtaining relevant feedback from referees as you have the freedom to direct questions towards certain skills, cultural fit, or specific job-related experiences. 

These custom-made questionnaires also play a key role in ensuring consistency. By asking the same questions to multiple referees, you can more easily compare qualities, reduce bias, and yield more reliable results.


Designing questionnaires that align with your unique brand will not only set your organisation apart from the rest, but also convey a level of professionalism that resonates with candidates and referees during the reference-checking process. This attention to detail sends a strong signal that you take every aspect of your operations seriously, including reference checking, strengthening your reputation in the eyes of potential hires and partners. The most efficient way to do this is by using an HRIS such as Martian Logic. As it is equipped with all the tools and features you need for customisation, conveying your brand through questionnaire templates is easy.


Enhance your reference-checking process with a personal touch. By using tags to automatically populate referee names, candidate names, and job descriptions into forms and questionnaires, you’re not only making the process clearer but also demonstrating your organisation’s commitment to valuing each candidate’s reference check. This thoughtful approach adds a level of personalisation that can leave a long-lasting positive impression.


2 – Automations Throughout The Process


In the world of Human Resources, the phrase “time is money” couldn’t be more true. The traditional reference-checking process often involves time-consuming administrative tasks, manual data entry, and a series of repetitive actions. But with automations in place, you can ensure a smooth and timely process, from requesting references all the way to storing data.

From Reference Form to Questionnaire

With an HRIS such as Martian Logic, the process of reference checking is effortless. Once a candidate is moved to the ‘reference checking stage’ of recruitment, a form is automatically sent to them to collect referee details. Once completed, the linked questionnaire that you customised is immediately sent to the appropriate contacts. This eliminates all that burdensome admin work that would otherwise be spent on the back-and-forth communication between the candidate and their referees. 

Storing the Data

Once the questionnaires are completed by the referees, all that data will be automatically captured and stored in the platform, making it easy to access for future needs or to be shared with executives, managers, and team leads. It’s a start-to-finish workflow that ensures that the entire reference check process is smooth and convenient for everyone involved.


3 – Choose To Do It Manually, Automatically, or Both


In the realm of reference checking, flexibility is paramount as each organisation and situation may warrant a slightly different approach. An HRIS like Martian Logic recognises this need for adaptability, offering HR professionals the freedom to choose between manual reference checks and automated questionnaire-based assessments. But what’s even better is that you’re never confined to just one or the other. Pre-set automations can be changed at any time, and HR can create multiple ‘reference check stages’ with different automations and templates.

Partially-Automated Reference Checks

An HRIS doesn’t eliminate the option for manual reference checks. HR professionals can still opt to pick up the phone and engage with referees directly while automating other parts of the process. This personal touch can be useful in situations where nuanced insights are needed or for more senior-level hires where in-depth conversations are crucial. In this case, during the chat, interviewers can use the questionnaires themselves as both a guide for the reference check interview and to enter the information being reported. This ensures that regardless of the chosen method, all reference data is tracked, stored securely, and can be easily accessed at any time.


4 – Detect & Avoid Fraud


Phone Number & Email Matching

Have you ever encountered a case where candidates have tried to hand over their own phone number or email as their referees? Sneaky – we know. But don’t worry, there is a way to avoid this. Certain platforms such as Martian Logic can automatically detect and flag these instances, saving you from the possibility of falling into the trap and ensuring your reference checks stay genuine and free of fraud.

IP Address Tracking

By cross-referencing the IP addresses with the known locations of the referees and the candidate, HR professionals can ensure that feedback is coming from the intended source and verify authenticity with confidence. In some cases, both the candidate and their referee may find themselves completing the reference-checking process from the same location – usually when they are still employed at the same organisation. However, there can also be less genuine situations at play. If, for example, the referee is a friend, spouse, or even a housemate, it’s good to be aware of these connections. And, if needed, investigate further to ensure everything checks out. With Martian Logic’s IP matching technology, you can minimise the chance of accepting false references and save your organisation from a potentially costly mistake.


5 – Ensure A Compliant Process


In many cases, organisations turn to reference checks, not just as a routine, but to meet industry standards and stay on the right side of legal requirements. This highlights the importance of asking relevant and non-discriminatory questions, while also ensuring proper documentation of the entire process. Using a ‘reference check module’ such as the one offered by Martian Logic allows multiple members of an HR team to collaborate on questionnaire templates and ensure each question is appropriate and conveyed professionally. As the platform stores all saved questions and collected data, the information can easily be reviewed – and if necessary, used as evidence to demonstrate that a thorough reference check was indeed carried out.


Key Takeaways


With an HRIS that offers a comprehensive ‘reference checking module’, you can master reference checks and contribute to a more smooth and effective hiring journey for all – candidates, referees, and HR teams. It’ll streamline the entire process from requesting checks, all the way to documenting the information and ensuring fraud protection. So, say goodbye to the hassle of chasing down references and data storage errors, and hello to a more efficient way of doing things!

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