Chasing up references for new hires most certainly isn’t one of life’s pleasures – especially when it comes as part of a volume recruitment campaign.  Endless emails, chase up calls and correspondence, with no real guarantees of a quality response (or any response at all).  The frustrating risk that, while this tedious process plays out, you will lose hard won candidates to alternative offers.  And yet the equally worrying risk that if you cut corners on referencing, you could well regret it later. The solution? Outsource it.

When you’re elbow deep in mass application forms, back to back interviews and recruitment administration, you could do with one less thing on your plate. At times, even with the best of intentions, references slip to the bottom of the long task list in favour of simply getting from offer to start date as quickly as possible. Not to mention the fact that, arguably, it’s not the best use of your time or skills.  In the midst of a mass recruitment process, it feels far more productive to be sourcing and interviewing candidates than it does to be mail merging reference request letters. That’s why we’d suggest you don’t do it. There’s simply no need.  Not when you could be using ReferenceExpert –  an online referencing service that invites employers and personal referees to provide structured feedback on your candidates. The service is very easy to administer and produces high quality, easy to read reference reports quickly and simply.

Nothing will ever take away the need for referencing; it is, after all, an essential ‘due diligence’ element of the hiring process, whether you’re hiring into one role or one hundred.  Successful hiring isn’t just about ‘bums on seats’.  If it were, the process would be far more straight forward.  It’s about hiring for skill, fit and competence.  That’s why you invest your time diligently sifting a hundred weight of applications, interviewing endlessly, and possibly even carrying out more detailed job specific assessments.  But even despite the most rigorous selection process, the truth is that some candidates just aren’t what they seem, and the only way to discover this is via thorough referencing.  Whether you’re hiring a bulk intake of low skilled temporary staff, or senior level industry experts, you need to be certain you’ve made the right judgement call.  Mistakes can be costly at any level, and recruiting in volume simply amplifies that risk.  So, it’s not a question of whether you undertake it, but, rather, how you approach it.

Let’s take a typical volume recruitment scenario.  You’ve got fifty vacancies to fill, in order to meet business needs during a seasonal peak.  If you’re like most employers, you’ll typically require at least two references from each potential new starter.  That’s one hundred reference request letters or emails, most of which will not generate a timely enough response to meet with your hiring deadlines.  Then begins the process of follow up emails and phone calls to chase down the elusive referees for the required information.  Amidst all of this, you’ll need to be keeping some kind of track of what’s been sent out, what’s come back, and what still needs chasing.  The references that do trickle in will need to be filed and formatted into your employee records.  And what of those that don’t?  You’re left with the troubling situation of either onboarding said new starter regardless, or delaying their start date indefinitely.  Neither scenario proves ideal.

What we’ve just painted isn’t just a picture of tedium and frustration.  It’s also one of significant cost.  Of course, few businesses stop to calculate it, because it gets buried in the overall payroll cost of whichever unfortunate soul is burdened with this dubious privilege.  But the cost is there, nonetheless.  Time is money, and time spent running to stand still is not a wise investment. There’s no two ways about it, referencing is a colossal time hoover.

‘Investing’ in outsourced referencing paints an entirely more relaxing and reassuring picture.  And we use inverted commas, because the word ‘investment’ suggests megabucks.  We don’t think that £3 (maximum) per completed reference breaks the bank.  In fact, when you factor in the effort and hours (and related payroll cost) involved in an internally managed referencing process, we reckon it compares rather favourably. So what does ReferenceExpert deliver for your £3?  Well, since you ask …

  • Save timeReferenceExpert is very quick and easy to use. You create an account and manage your candidates and referees. Theentire process takes about 10 seconds and we do the rest. We send texts and emails, chase completion & tell you when reference reports are available.
  • Save money – at maximum £3 it’s undeniably affordable, allowing you to invest your man hours and resources in more productive ways. And since you only pay for completed referees, you will never be throwing good money after bad. Not only that, our pricing structure operates on economies of scale – the more you buy, the cheaper the cost per reference.
  • Improve performance – increased pace, a seamless process and all the reassurance of consistent reliability and quality.
  • Accessibility – we can reach out to your referees anytime, anywhere, via smartphones, tablets and computers, and even by text. Meaning we increase the chances of timely response and completion.
  • Customisation – you can add your logo, use any of our three templates (standard, personal or detailed) or work with us to build your own specific template, all at no additional cost.
  • System access – all the data at your fingertips when you want it. Keep yourself updated as often as you like by logging on to view progress reports.

So, there you have it.  10 seconds, £3.  Hardly worth debating.  But in case you’re still not entirely sure, feel free to contact us with any questions.  Either way, we’d encourage you to give it a whirl by signing up for a no obligation 30 day free trial.  We’re pretty sure you’ll enjoy making more productive use of all that referencing time.

Here at great{with}talent, we believe firmly in ensuring that the full employee life cycle, from the point of hire to the point of exit, centres around the core principle of ‘person-organisation-fit’.  For more information on all our services, click here or contact us for a more detailed conversation.