The reference check has been a vital part of the hiring experience for some time. But now, job candidates are able to return the favor. Career-oriented websites and social media platforms allow them to get information about the company culture, corporate policies, and even individual managers or executives.

Is this change in the job market reason for concern? No, but it does mean employers need to prepare to see this up-and-coming trend become a job seeker standard.

Getting the Real Picture

Just as hiring managers use references to get another person’s perspective on a candidate, job seekers are interested in the same kind of information. Only so much can be discovered during the hiring process, so reaching out to someone who has worked at the company previously, or is there currently, is typically the quickest way to get answers.

And job seekers aren’t afraid to reach out to people they haven’t met. This means they are getting fairly honest feedback as neither party generally has a reason for being dishonest or even ambiguous.

Additionally, job seekers have been calling for more transparency in hiring for years and, in cases where they can’t find the information they need directly from the source, they aren’t afraid to use other resources for answers.

What Does this Mean for Companies?

It is important to understand that these shifts in job seeker behavior are not a bad sign. Additionally, it isn’t wise to restrict what current or former employees say during these informal reverse reference checks. Trying to restrict the ability to speak regarding their experience will likely lead to more negative information being shared instead of halting it all together. Instead, consider it is a sign that creating a positive reputation amongst employees is more important than ever.

The job market has seen unemployment remain fairly low, so job seekers have more power than they had in the years following the recession. This gives candidates options regarding the positions they accept. So companies that become known for providing the right mixture of compensation, opportunity, and environment are going to find it easier to secure the talent they need. And companies that aren’t willing to adjust will see top candidates looking elsewhere for employment.

The Bottom Line

This method for getting information about a company before accepting a job offer isn’t going anywhere, so it is critical to simply accept the new paradigm and adjust accordingly. Learn what job seekers value and work to keep them satisfied on the job, and you can benefit from positive word-of-mouth that will inevitably be shared.

So, consider it an opportunity to capitalize on everything your business does right in regards to its employees. And, if you are willing to learn more about what workers want and adjust accordingly, you can actually turn this initially intimidating shift into a pure benefit.

If you are interested in learning more about how candidates are evaluating your company or are looking to hire a new employee, TempStaff is available to help. Contact us and speak with one of our professional recruiters today.



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