McDonald’s, eBay, Kohls – these corporations aren’t exactly small potatoes, hiring hundreds and thousands of employees every year. In order to help ensure crucial pieces of the hiring process do not slip through the cracks, certain procedures have become like many things in our lives: electronic.
SkillSurvey Inc., named a 2012 HR Company to Watch, offers an online reference-checking tool called Pre-Hire 360. Not just for the mass-hiring frenzies of large conglomerates, some small firms as well are taking advantage of this effort-saving software as they lack the available staff and resources to make the traditional, time-consuming phone calls needed to gain reference information. According to a Workforce.com article, “what used to take [an employer] up to two weeks now takes as little as one or two days.” Using only the input of a candidate’s name and e-mail address, Pre-Hire 360 sends a survey to references in order to gain feedback on what SkillSurvey describes as “20 behaviors and skills that correlate to success in a given type of job” and then those results are “aggregated and delivered to you in an eye-opening report”.
What is even more appealing about this type of reference checking is that it is completely anonymous. Reviews state that feedback received from references is not only better, but that employers are obtaining a higher quantity for each candidate they check. The survey questions are standardized so there is added liability protection for those providing references. Utilizing this process, employers are able to contact references for more applicants and do so earlier in the process if necessary, assisting in the process of elimination.
These types of services tout a close to 90% time savings against conventional reference checking, on top of the obvious ability to further screen applicants and select higher quality candidates based on the given feedback. Only those candidates with high ratings on prior performance may move on in the hiring process, increasing the probability the person you hire will, in fact, be a high performer. Reduced turnover as a result should outweigh the operating costs created by implementing the new software. Depending on the expense of the software, integrating this method into current procedures could change the way many businesses look at background checks.
For the potential job seeker, what exactly does this mean? For one, they may want to take a closer look at their current list of references and decide how much trust they hold in each. They will also want to add a few to their arsenal as, when the process is automatic, there is no reason for employers to hold back on asking candidates to provide five or more references. Website ASuccessfulCareer.com highlights the perks for employers and the downfall for candidates in Automated Reference Checking – It’s Not Your Friend. While applicants and this process may never be best pals, it won’t be long before employers of all sizes are saying they can’t live without companies like SkillSurvey and Checkster.