At some point during the recruitment process you will be asked, by a member of our team, to provide a list of “professional” contacts who are well-prepared to speak on your behalf. (It is not necessary for a recruiter to request references during an initial contact with you. This is a well-known tactic of sweatshop recruitment firms).
Here are some tips on managing your references:
- Develop references throughout your career. We, at DSML Executive Search, fully check references of all finalist candidates, (and we will also verify your education as noted on your resume and/or LinkedIn profile) *. We’re looking specifically for the names and contact information of former managers and supervisors. Providing us with a list of former colleagues and co-workers isn’t going to cut it. And, sorry, neither is an inability to find former managers/supervisors.
- It’s wise to prepare your references for a call by refreshing them with details on the scope and breadth of your background, a copy of your resume (to assist them in recalling your career history and accomplishments), and a detailed understanding of the position you are seeking or the job you are being considered for. It’s amazing how many references are totally caught off guard when we call them.
- Every so often we will ask a reference for the name of another person they could talk with who is familiar with your work. This is a common practice for digging a deeper into your work history and performance. You should ensure that the references on your list can recall a few names of secondary references that they can provide if asked.
- If you are in an active job search mode and talking with several recruiters, always alert references each time that you have given out their name and contact information. Remember to follow-up with those who have vouched for you when a decision is made about the position, with a thank-you, no matter what the outcome.
- In addition to reference and education verification DSML Executive Search may require a DVM search, (if the role requires extensive driving with a company vehicle), and a credit check, (if the role is in finance/accounting related).
Doug Seville is co-founder and partner of DSML Executive Search recruiting for European and Canadian companies doing business in the United States. DSML Executive Search is an equity member of the CFR Executive Search Network.