Jobseekers still make the mistake of seeing references as a trivial thing and fill a job application up by putting names of friends, colleagues or anybody in that space. They don’t usually realize they jeopardize their careers by doing so.
About 75 percent HR managers, employers and recruiters ask for references when hiring a candidate. This is because they attach a lot of significance to references. So much so that, 58 percent employers always contact the references (for background checks) provided by the applicant.
Despite such preference for references from the HR managers, 20 to 30 percent candidates fake references in their resumes, state HR Managers in a TimesJobs study.
Indicating fake references as one of the key pain areas for any recruiter and a losing ground for job seekers, Sujaya Rao an independent HR professional says, “Job seekers typically share references of people who can put in a commendable good word for their work. But often during reference checks some of these references put in a pale mention of the candidate.”
Reference checks are very significant say majority of employers
Underlining the significance of reference checks, 40 percent hiring managers say that it ensures better and informed hiring decisions. Nearly 30 percent HR managers say it helps exclude applicants with inappropriate workplace behaviour and for 21 percent it helps check the cultural fit of the candidate.
Only 9 percent of the surveyed HR managers claim that reference checks are not of much importance to them and only a basic random check may be conducted while hiring a candidate.
Reinforcing the benefits, Sunil Goel, MD of GlobalHunt, says, “It is very important for the hiring managers to know the truth behind the resume. Since, it is difficult to get the facts from the job seeker in a 1 or 2 hour long interview where the focus is also on other aspects, including – body language and personality, conducting reference checks seems to be the ideal method.”
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False references are jeopardizing careers
The frequency of fake resumes encountered by the HR managers is so high that almost 10 to 20 percent applicants are rejected every month post their reference checks say the surveyed employers.
This is because of the high rate of false references provided by job seekers result in most HR managers developing unfavourable opinions towards the job seeker, often leading to rejection.
In view of this finding Zarin Bhathena, Senior VP and Head – HR, Wordline – South Asia and Middle East says that fake references have long-term repercussions. “References lend credibility to an employee’s character. On conducting a check, if the reference turns out to be false, the organization may or may not terminate the individual but the trustworthiness of the employee is definitely hampered.”
Commenting on this finding Nilanjan Roy, Head of Strategy Times Business Solutions says, “Ensure that the references you provide in applications are credible, and that these people are able to provide an honest appraisal of your skills.”
In addition, employers are increasingly scanning candidates’ social references. For instance, even though Facebook is a personal space, inappropriate comments, images or complaints have led to rejection of some candidates in the past. So ensure your posts and privacy settings are strong across all your social media.
This TimesJobs Study was conducted with inputs from over 650 HR Managers pan-India across key sectors including IT, telecom, manufacturing, healthcare, retail, FMCG, consumer durables, travel and hospitality, BFSI, media & entertainment, infrastructure, BPO and ITeS.
Also read: Indian Government Launches Scheme to Train and Upskill Youth Seeking Jobs Abroad
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