The Importance of Reference Checks When Hiring Top Talent


CCS Construction Staffing

Has this ever happened to you – you spend months interviewing candidates for an open electrician position. You finally find the one with the right experience and certifications, only to discover, just a few short months in, that this employee really wasn’t the right fit at all. Now, you find yourself having to spend precious time and money to start the job search process all over again.

Had you only known about these potential issues from the beginning, you would have moved on from that candidate right away. Maybe the problem was more annoying than anything, like habitual procrastination, tardiness or difficulty in staying on task. However, sometimes the shadows lurking are much more serious, like previous criminal behavior, a suspended driver’s license, serious lags in safety or worse.

That’s why checking references is essential in the hiring process, especially for a construction site. Not only will you be able to narrow down your candidate pool, but you’ll also be able to catch on to any red flags right away.

Why conduct a reference check?

Many construction catastrophes can be avoided by calling up a job seeker’s references. You’ll get a solid idea of this applicant’s past performance, which is a major clue to future productivity. You can not only get some insight on how the candidate is on a job and as part of a crew, but also verify any of the skills and experience listed on his or her resume. If you want to avoid the potential of getting burned by a worker who isn’t as qualified as the application states, conducting a thorough reference check is the way to go.

Who Should You Call?

Don’t just limit yourself to the candidate’s list of references; you can often call past employers, too. Take a close look at the variety of references: Are they all from the same place? Are they all really recent connections? Be sure to listen closely during the call, and don’t just stay on the phone for a few moments. Take the time to ask probing questions and pay attention for optimism and excitement, or hesitation or even hostility. Before you make an offer to a job applicant, be sure to check with their references. This way you can ensure the validity of the candidate with the impressive resume and the candidate who wowed you in the interview.

What should you ask?

If you stick with generic questions, you’re going to get surface answers that don’t really reveal anything new about the candidate. Don’t just think about the qualities necessary for the position, but also for a thriving and successful job site. Be sure to ask for specific examples, so you get more than just yes or no responses.

  • Can you give me an example of a time when the candidate had to step up to help in a challenging situation?
  • Was the candidate offered or eligible for any promotions? Why or why not?
  • Tell me about a time when the candidate helped improve or influence teamwork?
  • What are the candidate’s top strengths and work habits?
  • Most importantly, would the previous employer hire them again?

Do you need a skilled laborer or a special technician right away, but don’t have the time for a proper prescreening? Let CCS Construction Staffing do the work for you. All of our talent has been extensively prescreened and examined, so we know exactly who is the right fit your specific needs. Don’t waste any more time or money hurrying the hiring process. Contact us and we’ll help solve your job site staffing needs.

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