Back to the Basics: Character References

It’s the first day of Shelby’s new hire and he’s late. When Max shows up, he gives her no explanation and she notices he is wearing jeans after telling him to wear business casual. She’s already dreading his first week of training. This is not a good start.

Now it’s three months into Max’s position and he hasn’t accomplished anything. Shelby hasn’t seen an increase in sales/numbers and she is devoting all her time to assisting him. He isn’t receptive of Shelby’s help and seems to be doing the opposite of everything he’s asked. She is regretting hiring him and is not looking forward to his future with her company.

Shelby asks herself, “How did I get into this mess in the first place?” and, “What could I have done to prevent this?”

Shelby wonders about Max’s performance with his last company and regrets not contacting his previous supervisor to do a character reference.

The price of a bad hire is at least 30% of their first-year earnings. Have you ever found yourself in a situation similar to Shelby’s?

Character Reference

Character references are almost as important as running criminal history, along with education and employment verifications.

What is a Character Reference?

A character reference is additional information that can verify more about an applicant’s previous work experience.

You find out the dates of employment with an employment verification; however, with a character reference, you will may gain insights into their timeliness and attendance. Our customer service team will ask in-depth questions to get a better sense of their personality and work ethic.

Although a candidate’s resume should always be honest and up-to-date, it can’t say everything about the individual. Are they a timely person? Do they call off work constantly? What’s their personality?

These are all qualities that are essential to know before hiring someone for a position. When hiring, you want a reliable employee whose personality will allow them to get along with others.

Checking a candidate’s references is vital to gaining more in-depth information than what is provided on a typical employment verification.

When looking to hire a new employee, one must be sure that they are not only qualified for the job, but they also must be able to work well with your current employees.

SELECTiON.COM® can provide you with vital information that allows you to make a much more educated and insightful decision. Click here for a character reference check sample.

How can you find this information on an applicant?

By having a character reference done on a potential employee, you can find out answers to all these questions and more.

A character reference reports more in-depth information on the applicant, such as work ethic, ability to work with others, strengths, improvement areas and personality.

At SELECTiON.COM®, our customer service team contacts the applicant’s references and records their answers during the check.

What kind of questions are asked on a character reference?

You can customize your questions. We have included some example questions that clients have previously used:

  • What can you tell me about the applicant’s personality?
  • What can you tell me about the applicant’s work ethic?
  • If provided the opportunity, would you hire the applicant? Why or why not?
  • What can you tell me about the applicant’s reason for changing jobs?
  • What can you tell me about the applicant’s ability to get along with peers and supervisors?
  • How reliable is the applicant?
  • What are the applicant’s strengths?
  • What areas can the applicant improve upon?

Click here for a full description of the character reference report.

How long does a character reference take?

The average turnaround time for a character reference report is 1-3 days.

What industries benefit the most from character references?

What information do I need to provide?

Once you have an account with SELECTiON.COM®, we only need the reference’s name and phone number.

Additional information that may be provided are address, city, state and how long the reference has known the applicant.

Contact us today to add character references to your account or to see how SELECTiON.COM® can benefit your background screening program.

Article by SELECTiON.COM®

Founded in 1991, SELECTiON.COM® is one of the Nation’s leading providers of pre-employment background screening services. We offer the largest network of in-house researchers, the fastest turnaround on criminal background checks and drug screening, and unsurpassed customer service. Our web application, FASTRAX Select™, allows employers to verify an applicant’s background check information quickly and accurately from the convenience of a personal computer. Average turnaround time on criminal background searches is 2 business days. Thousands of employers nationwide rely on SELECTiON.COM® to help them make smart hiring decisions.