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Sunday, February 26, 2017

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Candidate referrals should never be a hiring shortcut

Employee referrals are a potentially excellent recruiting tool for any organization, as a trusted employee or business colleague is not going to recommend a candidate who they wouldn't want to work with themselves.

However, referrals come with significant risk, as your employee may not know enough about the referred party's past, or they're simply trying to help out a friend who needs work. Ultimately, the time and cost savings referrals lend to a talent search is no replacement for a comprehensive background check.

A thorough screening should continue to be an essential component of the hiring process, particularly when a referral comes with a resume. A 2014 CareerBuilder.com study found that 58 percent of 2,188 hiring managers surveyed had caught at least one lie on a resume. About half of employers (51 percent) interviewed said they would automatically dismiss a candidate if they discovered a falsehood on their resume, while 40 percent stated that dismissal would depend on the severity of the lie. Fabrications included embellished skill sets (57 percent), exaggerated responsibilities (55 percent) and incorrect dates of employment (42 percent).

Most resume discrepancies will turn up on a background check. Screenings should confirm, at the least, a potential hire's educational and employment history, as well as any public court records of significance.

Referrals deriving from a credible source within an organization are thought to be trustworthy, and often lead to direct hires without the safety net of a company-mandated screening process. This practice speeds up hiring and gives tenured workers assurance their referrals were valued, but companies have encountered instances where an employee didn't know a referred candidate's educational and employment background, or were recommending a friend or loved one who wasn't qualified for the role.

Referrals can still remain a facet of an organization's hiring activities, as long as those candidates are vetted by means of a systematic background check.

OPENonline guides employers through every step of the background screening process to ensure efficiency and confidence in hiring decisions. For more information, please contact us

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