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Are Employment References Passe?

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Millennials and Gen Z workers are notorious for switching jobs, working gig economy jobs, and being extremely fluid in their employment choices. With all that moving around, it’s tempting to assume that employment references are just a waste of money, effort, and time. Reviewing their resume, conducting an interview, and running basic checks like a criminal history or motor vehicle report, if needed, should be sufficient, right?

Think again.

Here’s why you need to challenge that assumption and continue to diligently run employment reference screens on all new hires.

Resumes Can’t Be Trusted

Alas, people lie, or at the very least fudge a bit, on their resumes. This isn’t new information, and millennials and Gen Z’ers are no exceptions to this rule. You cannot hire people solely on their word, especially if specific experience and qualifications are required for the job. For example, suppose you need someone skilled with using a particular computer program and can hit the ground running. In that case, that’s what you need, and checking an employment reference may be the only tool you have to assess whether or not the candidate meets that standard.

Onboarding an individual on the assumption that they can perform tasks as listed on their resumé without independently verifying those abilities is risky and has the potential to cost you significant time and resources in training, lost productivity, and maybe even rehiring.

Stuff is…Blurry

The last two years have made us question everything. Remote work, gig work, and pandemic issues have made a mess of people’s resumes. Furloughs, lost jobs, and other circumstances make it difficult to decipher who has done what and when. That confusion also makes it easier for dishonest folks to sneak through the cracks. Messy resumes and the current labor shortage that makes employers desperate to find and hire good talent have created a high-risk combination. Resist the urge to rush ahead and instead take a moment to check references to make sure you’re getting the talent you need.

Professional background check providers can get the job done quickly, and they offer sophisticated background check APOs that make the process efficient and straightforward. You can order a background check with one click, have a third party handle all the compliance issues, and get the necessary info to make intelligent hiring decisions.

Your Team is Important

Regardless of what’s going on in the labor market, you’re responsible for your hiring choices. Employment reference checks are an economical way to increase the quality of your hires.

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