CareerBuilder’s new study on candidate references has shown that 62 percent of employers say that they have at least one experience where a listed reference has given a poor review of a job applicant while 29 percent say that they have found a fake reference on an application. The expansive survey included nearly 2,500 hiring managers HR professionals and almost 4,000 workers from a variety of industries and companies.
“You want to make sure you are including your biggest cheerleaders among your job references,” said Rosemary Haefner, Vice President of Human Resources at CareerBuilder. “Before choosing someone, ask yourself ‘Did this person understand my full scope of responsibilities? Can he or she vouch for my skills, accomplishments and work ethic?’ You also want to make sure that you ask your former colleagues if you can list them as a reference. If someone is unwilling, it helps you to avoid a potentially awkward or damaging interaction with an employer of interest.”
Other key highlights from the survey include:
• 15 percent of workers reported listing references without first seeking their approval;
• 80 percent of employers reported to contacting references during the initial evaluation and 16 percent of this majority contacts references before initiating a job interview;
• 69 percent of employers have experienced instances where they have changed their mind about a candidate after speaking with a reference: 47 percent of these said their opinion had been negatively affected by a reference and 23 percent reported developing a more favorable opinion. Nearly one-third of respondents reported no influence one way or the other.