According to Glassdoor, hiring processes are taking longer than they used to. Their research reveals that the average hiring time in the UK is between 27.9 and 31.9 days. In a competitive market, in which the race for the best talent is fiercely fought, ‘speed to hire’ is a common measure. Is referencing the victim of this equation?

‘Speed to hire’ is perhaps a misguided term. ‘Speed’ suggests haste and chaos; it suggests the quickest possible route, but not necessarily the most thorough; it suggests cutting corners and taking risks, with no heed towards cost or resource management. By contrast, ‘efficiency’ implies attention to detail and planning; it suggests rigour, without time wasting; it suggests prudent use of resource. If the singular measure of hiring success is in elapsed time, speed is your weapon. But if you also care about quality of hire, employer brand and employee retention, it’s efficiency of hire you’re after. From the very start of the process, through to the very end. Including, not in spite of, referencing.

Most recruiters and hiring managers would probably agree where the bottlenecks in their process tend to occur. It’s no coincidence that it’s the admin-heavy aspects of the hiring process that tend to impact upon efficiency. Not least at the stage of referencing. Literally hours of time and resource sucked up just to get one nondescript reference back. The temptation is not to bother at all (at worst), or to start the process but give up on following it through to completion (come on, hands up!), onboarding the candidate regardless. That’s all fine, of course … until you come across the new starter whose background or working style isn’t quite what they presented at interview.

Referencing is crucial – anyone who has ever learnt this lesson the hard way will attest to that. It dots the I’s and crosses the T’s at the very end of the hiring process, and it adds to the all-important efficiency and rigour, leaving you confident that you’ve made the best possible choice of candidate. In an ideal world, no-one should cross your corporate threshold with a company lanyard round their neck until they’ve been fully reference checked. That’s not always practical, but, without question, you need the reassurance of completed and returned references within their first few weeks (at the very least, within the probationary period).

We understand why all this may sound a little fanciful. At one end of the process there’s you (or someone who works for you), endlessly churning out letters and emails, making awkward and repeated chase up calls and getting little back in return. Hardly an efficient use of time. At the other end of the process, there’s the referee, snowed under with a million and one priorities, the very least of which is responding to a reference request for an ex-employee. Stalemate.

That’s where ReferenceExpert comes in. The Fairy Godmother of referencing, if you will. Not only do we make referencing easy (basically, we do it all for you). Our consistently high completion and return rates mean that ReferenceExpert adds to the efficiency and predictive validity of your hiring process. All we need from you is the basic candidate and reference details. You can leave the rest to us; from writing the reference requests, contacting referees, and chasing them as much as necessary, through to creating reference reports for your employee files.

Referencing is the Achilles Heel in most hiring processes, dragging down ‘efficiency to hire’ and offering little by way of reassurance to the hiring manager, because it is too time consuming and presents sketchy results. If that sounds like a pretty accurate description of your referencing process to date, then it’s definitely time to try a new approach. Here’s the lowdown on how ReferenceExpert puts efficiency and referencing in the same sentence with relative ease:

Save timeReferenceExpert is very quick and easy to use. You create an account and manage your candidates and referees. The entire 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 never look back.

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.