Chapter 11. Check References: Step 7
The ability to make good decisions regarding people represents one of the last reliable sources of competitive advantage since very few organizations are very good at it.
Once the candidate's interview is completed, you're now ready to check his or her references. The purpose of this step is to independently validate the information that you've collected during the interviews. You'll also have the opportunity to explore new areas of the candidate's skills and personality. The reference check should serve as a continuation of the MATCH process—confirming or denying key points that have been identified in the recruiting effort.
Demand multiple references from your candidates. You need to contact references who have worked on the same level as the candidate, peers, and those who supervised the candidate. For a critical hire, contact references at all levels going back 10 years. While this might seem a bit like overkill, you'll gather significant data as you strive to hire and then effectively manage the new employee.
Conduct behavioral reference checks.
Start references broadly and end narrowly.
Stick to your script.
Prior to the Reference Call
Work with the candidate to determine the best way to approach a reference. It is considered proper etiquette for the candidate to provide contact information and a best time to call. If a reference is uncomfortable about discussing the candidate while they're at work, arrange to call ...