So today on LinkedIn I stumbled into this article. Couldn’t help but think if you’re thinking that if all you’re going to get from a candidate’s referral is a group of polished candidates he has chosen for you, then you are getting referrals wrong in the world of HR. When I’ve been on the interviewing/hiring end there have been a few things I’ve done to maximize what a referral gives me, and getting the “bad news” as well as the good. Two of them offhand:
Make sure you clear it with legal and HR before actually doing this, but ask the candidate for some “tough” referrals where the referral in question may not have just good news. This one is dicey, may get you in trouble with a lawsuit happy candidate, but there is no law against doing this. So make your potential candidate confess one sin. We’ve all had them.
- Ask the referral you’re calling “Did anyone else at your company/school/whatever also know the candidate that I may not have in my notes? Do you have a phone/email for them?” Sometimes a referral from a reference (or 2 levels down) may be a bit more candid having less time to form his thoughts and polish up for his referral statement on your candidate.