Reference-checking in the tech-savvy age goes beyond a few phone calls to listed numbers on a CV and includes a sweep of candidates’ online presence, a survey conducted by sales and marketing recruitment consultancy Sales Placement suggests.
The survey questioned 70 employers of sales and marketing professionals in a variety of industries, including the FMCG sector, professional services, manufacturing, healthcare and pharmaceuticals, financial services and agri-food.
Of those surveyed, 81pc said they would check up on a candidate’s social media presence as part of the recruitment process. For 68pc, this would involve a Google search of the candidate, while 72pc would check out their LinkedIn profile, 35pc would look them up on Facebook and 26pc would have a look at their Twitter profile.
Growing emphasis on digital presence
“The results show an evolution of referencing policies, with a growing emphasis on a candidate’s digital presence,” said Seamus Farrelly, managing director of Sales Placement. “A Google search tends be conducted as a first port of call when making a decision on a candidate and social media profiles have become the ‘first impression’ an employer will tend to get of a potential employee.”
With this in mind, Farrelly advises job-seekers to take a step back and view their online presence through the eyes of a potential employer. If they spot anything undesirable in an employee, now is the time to make changes to fix that.
You can’t beat a good reference
Good references are still key, though, with 100pc of those surveyed saying references were of high or reasonable importance when it comes to recruitment and 80pc saying they wouldn’t even make an offer of employment without checking a reference. The majority (79pc) go so far as to make ‘off the record’ enquiries if they know someone connected to a potential candidate.
A third of those surveyed (33pc) had withdrawn offers of employment based on poor references, while 39pc said they had been given a negative reference by a listed referee.
When contacting a referee, recruiters are most interested to learn about the candidate’s attendance, ability to work in a team, people skills and character, according to the survey results.
Recruitment image via Jirsak/Shutterstock