The latest question we put to some of Find Recruitment’s talent……
Q: When asking for references to be provided, what are your key tips or advice for candidates.
To provide insight to candidate’s varying circumstances we added a few follow up questions including:
- If the candidate was previously self-employed what are the best references for them to provide?
- Do you always want to speak to someone who managed them or were managed by the person or are character references often also sought after?
Here’s what they said:
Chris Martin – Senior Recruitment Consultant
Assuming on the whole you have positive references, if you have a bad experience with a past employer – it’s best to be upfront and explain why. Make sure that you provide an additional reference to show a more accurate picture about your performance.
Louise-Hall Strutt, Senior Legal Recruiter
If the candidate was previously self-employed what are the best references for them to provide?
In this instance, I would say the best reference would be a client, who can talk to your working style, ability to meet deadlines, demeanour, and give a good overall view of their dealings with you.
Do you always want to speak to someone who managed them or were managed by the person or are character references often also sought after?
Generally speaking, we are wanting to speak to a Manager, they have a better overview of working style, strengths and weaknesses, and how you fit into the company. Character references can be helpful to build a picture of your personality but could be biased.
Sif Arnardottir – Senior IT Recruiter
I like to remind my candidates to keep their references recent or job relevant, ideally from someone who can vouch for their work and style from a senior level. If reaching a recent manager is tricky or contentious for some reason, I ask them to consider customers in senior positions, suppliers or senior colleagues. You could also consider using a teacher or a mentor.
Tim Cairns – Senior Recruiter
When providing references, current or previous managers are best able to convey your strengths and style in a positive light, so it is best to lead with them if possible. A strong reference can be a deciding factor at times, and it’s helpful to your cause to assist your recruitment agent in facilitating these in a timely manner to give you the best chance of landing a strong offer.
Esther David-Strickland – Talent Manager
When asking candidates for references, we encourage them to provide recent and credible (professional) referees who they may have directly reported to. Someone that will be able to give constructive feedback on their responsibilities, skill sets, and work ethics. A referee that can say great things about the candidate as a team member and as a person. Someone they trust that can help them secure a role.
Sam Morris – Senior IT Recruiter
I always ask for people they reported into who they had a good relationship with but it depends on the level of the role
If the role is for a Senior Leader and leadership is an important aspect of the role I also like to include one from someone who reported into them to get an idea around their leadership style
If the candidate has been self-employed, someone they have done great work for in the past
I will take a character reference if the client is unsure about culture fit but maybe wouldn’t let on to the candidate with that one 😊