So you invest lots of time and money in a robust recruitment process to select a new leader for your business but you haven't included candidate referencing. It can be such a valuable process to both endorse your decision but also to deliver a robust and relevant on-boarding programme.
Candidate referencing is seen by far too many companies as just a checklist box that needs to be ticked. Taken seriously and given some thought, it can be a really valuable process for 3 key reasons.
1. 3rd party views
By gaining access to referees who know your prospective new hire well, perhaps in and out of work, this could give you a unique and informative insight from people who really know your candidate. These views remove the "interview face" that you have seen so far and should dive into corners that you have not been able to get to before.
2. Insights are great for on-boarding
The first 6 months of any new leader's time with you is usually quite unproductive and spent understanding your organisation, their role and the relationship with you. Wouldn't it be great to have a really good insight into the reality of managing them and understanding what makes them tick and excel even before they join your business. Psychometric assessments can also help here but there is nothing like hearing from "a horses mouth".
3. Personal feedback
You could and should be involved speaking to the referees. The information you gain will be so valuable in establishing your new employee relationship and gaining short cuts to leadership success rather than go through the pain of finding out along the way. Feedback from your Executive Search partner is fine but there is nothing like direct communications.
Structured properly and with the right referees, a well though out referencing process can add a lot of value to your business.
Returning to the subject of formal candidate referencing, before commencing anything it helps to be clear about what you’re trying to accomplish. Are you merely determining whether to proceed further with that candidate? Might you also be interested in gaining insight into how best to work with them? In other words, are you simply determining whether to work with them or also how to work with them? There is much more than this to be determined from a proper referencing process including, for example, potential insight into your offer terms. But let’s focus here on the question of how you would best work with the candidate in question.