Tips On Verifying References

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by Tom Watson on June 27, 2010

A very important part of the hiring process is checking out the applicants employment references. When you are running a cleaning company this is a step you don’t want to skip.

A lot of information can be gleaned from not only what type of references your applicants supply, but what the those references say (or don’t say).

Let’s dig in right away, here are some rules to live by:

  • Always check the references. No matter how much you may like an applicant, you need to do your homework.
  • Be concerned when only “friends” are listed as a reference. Normal working adults should be able to provide at least one reference from a prior job.
  • Be wary of applicants that list a bunch of former employers who “are out of business”. This can be a warning sign.
  • Beware of applicants that name former employers who are located far away. Another possible warning sign.
  • Your goal is to talk to a candidates immediate supervisor if possible.
  • If you reach a candidates former “immediate supervisor” aim to find out about:
    • Their attendance record (if they hem and haul proceed with caution).
    • Work performance (a long pause would worry me).
    • Honesty factor (listen and read between the lines).
    • Did they get along with other team members and or management (this is good to know).
    • Would they hire that individual again? (this is my favorite question)

You may want to keep in mind that not everyone will call you back concerning your inquiry into the applicants background. You need to accept this and know that you will be making a decision with less than perfect data to support whatever you decide. Taking the time to check references will help provide you with the best possible employee for your cleaning company.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Sharon July 20, 2014 at 10:39 am

Hi Tom! I love all of the wealth of information you have provided on your web site… I have learnt quite a bit.

My question is about background checks, do you use a service for this? I would hate to think that I have hired a person who has a record.


2 Tom Watson July 20, 2014 at 6:23 pm

Hi Sharon! Thanks for the kind words. There are many different vendors available for this type service. If I were you I would check with your local State Police office too. Depending on what state you live in, they may be a low cost option.

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