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1 in 3 candidates were removed from the interview process due to a poor reference provided by a former employer or colleague, according to a recent survey from Accountemps, a global hiring firm.

Typically, references are checked in the final round of the interview process. Cutting candidates that late in the game can be expensive from both a monetary and time standpoint.

Are reference checks really the only way that you can prevent a bad hire?

The argument: Reference checks are the only way to give you a full picture of who a candidate is.

It’s true– reaching out to your candidate’s past employers and/or colleagues is a great way to get the full picture of their strengths and weaknesses. It’s also a great way to get an idea of their behavior, attitude, and more.

There’s a lot of weight placed on reference checks. In particular, improperly checking references and hiring someone who’s a “bad fit” can cost employers $15,000 on average. That’s a lot of pressure for one aspect of the hiring process. After all, the entire goal of each round is to uncover a candidate’s strengths, weaknesses, and how they’d mesh with the team.

Still, reference checks are one of the most common parts of the hiring process and almost everyone is familiar with them. They’re well-known for helping to mitigate risk and confirm prior employment or education.

However, there are downsides. The candidates you’re interviewing hand-pick their references. Therefore, they’ll typically be the individuals who will show your candidate in the best light.

Instead of relying on reference checks to differentiate candidates, why not:

Instead…your interviewers should be your vetters.

Recruiters, not the hiring managers, are often the ones making the calls to references and asking them questions about the candidate. Additionally, during those calls, it’s pretty common to read off a script and ask pretty generic questions.

Your interviewers, the ones actually heavily involved in the process, are the ones that will get a better picture of how the candidate will likely perform in the company. Having a standardized interview process that your interviewers are confident in is very important. After all, if your interviewers don’t know your company’s values or what criteria they should be looking for, they won’t be able to find individuals that would be a best-fit for your company!

Leveraging interview logistics platforms like GoodTime, for example, will help you standardize your interview process and give your interviewers the tools to quickly vet candidates in a fair and unbiased way.

Additionally, placing interviewers in the room that have attributes in common with the candidate is another great way to vet during the interview process. Candidates from a variety of backgrounds will feel more comfortable if they’re interviewed by interviewers that have something in common with them. Leveraging interview logistics platforms like GoodTime to smart interviewer match is a great way to automate this process.

Read more: How do you select the best interviewers for your interviews?

Instead…have your candidates do take-home assessments to judge their abilities.

Besides interviewers, another way for your team to vet candidates is through take-home assessments. Take-home assessments are a great way to identify how candidates think and how they’d approach real-world problems at your company.

It’s also a great way to gauge their ability to follow directions and their writing skills. You’ll also see how much they know about your company!

While reference checks are important, it’s important to leverage all the tools at your disposal when finding top talent. An interview logistics platform is one way to do so quickly and without bias!

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