Text References

Are References Real?


Corruption, embezzlement, fraud, these are all characteristics which exist everywhere. It is regrettably the way human nature functions, whether we like it or not. What successful economies do is keep it to a minimum. No one has ever eliminated any of that stuff.

– Allen Greenspan-  

“How do I know that a reference that a candidate provides is real?”   This is a question that we at SafeHiring get asked by approximately 60% of those that are considering using Reflynk to automate the reference checking process.  I always answer this question with a question. Yes, I know that can be annoying. “How do you conduct reference checks right now?” I already know that answer to this question because it is one of two ways:

  • By phone

  • By not checking them at all

I then will follow that question up by asking, “How do you currently validate the candidate’s references?”  Generally, the answer is, “We do not.”

Validating a reference can be extremely difficult and time consuming.  Some simple suggestions to protect and defend against Reference Fraud are:

  • Ask for a greater number of references - both professional and personal - This forces the candidate to dig deeper in their list of contacts to create a larger data set.

  • Perform some “prework” on the submitted references - This can be as simple as conducting a quick Google Search of the company or the person. You can also use a tool such as LinkedIn.  

Although LinkedIn is a powerful tool, it is not guaranteed 100% accurate.  Other business networking sites are:

  • Ask a greater number of questions per reference - Much like the approach above, this creates a larger data set.

  • Vary the types of questions asked - Create different competency groups in your question groupings.  Phrase the same question differently and ask in different parts of the session.

  • Conduct a random reference audit - Depending on the volume of candidates that an organization has, every 30 or 60 days reassign and reconduct the reference check using the same question set.  

  • Automate the reference checking process - By automating the reference checking process, an organization can easily and efficiently implement the above suggestions without increasing the time and/or effort to conduct the check.   

First Generation Automated Reference checking platforms use email to conduct reference checks.   More current platforms are now utilizing Mobile Texting and/or email to conduct  reference checks and have many more options in formatting the requested information.   These platforms will not truly validate the reference, but they will collect valuable information to help you validate such as:

  • Duplicate contact information

  • Time stamps of when responses were given

  • Accurate aggregation of data

As stated above, at this point, there is really no way to completely validate reference information regardless of how an organization conducts reference checks.  There is, however, more and more technology that is being developed (BlockChain) that could eliminate any instance of Job Fraud or Resume Fraud.

Learn more about RefLynk.

Can I Text My References? - Of Course!

  • Adults 18-24 years old send and receive over 128 texts every day.

  • Adults 25-34 years old send and receive over 75 texts every day.

  • Adults 35-44 years old send and receive over 52 texts every day.

  • Adults 45-54 years old send and receive over 33 texts every day.

Over the years, we have spoken to Human Resource professionals and Volunteer Coordinators that have stated that reference checking is one of, if not the most laborious aspect of their jobs.  In fact, there many companies that have discontinued reference checking due to multiple reasons (none of which are valid reasons based on best practices).  The reason that continues to be a front runner is:  Time

  • “All I do I is leave voicemails”.

  • “I cannot get the reference to call me back”.

  • “I sent them an email”.

The problem is not the concept of reference checking; it is the method.  Technology has advanced in the communication world in such a way that it is virtually impossible for someone not to know who is trying to contact them using any mode e.g. telephone, email, text.

If you are working at your job and the phone rings, are you going to answer if it is not a familiar number?  My guess- No.

If you are working at your job and an email notification pops up from an unfamiliar email address, are you going to stop what you are doing to open it, let alone respond?  My guess is- No. At best you will file it away among the other 350  “nonurgent” emails that you received that day.  The average employee receives over 121 emails each day. http://www.hrdive.com/news/remote-workers-are-missing-the-memo-study-says/503255/

That leaves the last option:  Text

Looking at the texting statistics above tell the story. Nearly 90% of Americans have cell phones with 77% of that 90% owning a smartphone.  http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/01/12/evolution-of-technology/

General conclusion: Everyone has a cell phone and everyone texts. Texting takes place at work, for work, on the commute, at home, at school, at soccer games, at lunch, on breaks, etc.

If I want to communicate with my kids, I send a text; I text my wife for a grocery list;  I text my mom the address to a soccer game; text a picture to my college buddies.  What do these activities have in common?  None of these are business-related activities . . . but wait!  I had a client last week ask me to, “Shoot me over your contact information to my cell.”  My wife, a Certified Real Estate Appraiser, communicates all day via text with her management companies and clients www.accurateappraisalsin.com .

Texting is:

  • Immediate

  • Short

  • Effective

  • Efficient

Technology allows texting from multiple platforms; thereby, shifting the acceptable business communication methods paradigm.  For example:

Canvas https://gocanvas.io/ - a revolutionary recruiting platform that utilizes texting to candidates.  

Reflynk www.reflynk.com - a revolutionary automated reference checking platform that utilizes mobile text and/or email to conduct reference checks.

SafeVisitor Solutions  www.safevisitorsolutions.com - a comprehensive visitor management platform that has multiple features that will notify using mobile texting.

So, can I Text My References? YES! if you want to get results. Fish where the Fish are as Communicate How the World Communicates.