We all know that smart employers will do a full background check on any prospective candidate before making an offer. That’s because a poor choice can be costly if it turns out they hired a deadbeat, a crook, drug addict, or drama queen.
But I also believe that references should go both ways. If you’re being recruited for a new job, be sure to run a reference check on the management team. Go beyond the LinkedIn page and place calls to former colleagues. See what you can dig up. I’ve seen it happen too many times where candidates “fall in love” or are so excited about the prospect of an awesome job, they fail to thoroughly check out who they’ll be working for. The awesome job ends up being awful.
Don’t email for a reference either. Permanent records in writing are what scares people from fully opening up. Ask questions over the phone about the manager’s ability to train; their expectations, ability to delegate, tolerance for mistakes, and ethics and honesty. Note any hesitation or refusal to answer certain questions. Or read between the lines if there appears to be vagueness.
If you are only allowed to talk to HR, then the question to ask is, “is she eligible for rehire?”
While there is always the possibility your new manager won’t appreciate undergoing the same background check they are subjecting you to, I think that would also be a telling sign as to whether or not you want to work there. Any employee who does due diligence for them-self, will also do the same for their company.
And if you don’t feel comfortable performing a background check yourself, we can help with that too. Drop us a line on the “contact us” page.