Is it the end for the traditional employer reference?

July 25, 2019

Technology has enabled us to collect masses of data relating to an individual, from internal workforce information to social media activity, recruiters now possess greater ability to verify and validate the skills and qualifications of a candidate. With the war on talent raging on, it’s crucial organisations hire the talent that actually possess the right skills and be stringent in not merely trusting a CVs buzzwords or being dazzled by the interview presentation. 

Employee background checking still required
Learn from other employers to not make the same mistake as airline West Atlantic UK who hired a Captain who’d placed one of his references as Desilijic Tiure, the alternative name of Jabba the Hut from Star Wars. Upon realising the fraudulent claim, the employee was dismissed but such a mistake can cost an employer their reputation not only as an attractive employer but also to wider public and in this case the safety to passengers.

This is why background checks and employee references, no matter if the new hire is permanent, contract, part-time or freelance, need to take place and through technology this once time-consuming and sometimes not entirely accurate process can be optimised, automated and trusted. In a world where everyone is online and global communication is the norm, no employer oversight or business mishap goes unnoticed and or unheard of.

Technology and the human touch
With the use of technology, HR can avoid such issues when first sourcing candidates. Blockchain can aid candidate employee verification and background checking through identifying a database of candidates who are most appropriate based solely on skills and experience. This removes any unconscious bias and alleviates recruiters from the timely process of manually sourcing talent, allowing them to engage with these candidates through human interaction. It’s important to remember though that many candidates may not always be actively looking and therefore not on job boards or certain databases.

However, whilst data tools can search active jobseekers, HR can use data to also segment and target talent pools where passive candidate that possess the skills their business is looking for can be found. Data can enable HR and recruitment to not only find the in-demand talent they’re after but also verify that they are in fact who they want before hiring or even interviews takes place, therefore reducing the amount of lost resource and time spent on unsuitable candidates.

Selecting the right data, not all of the data
When discussing data in terms of company usage, people can become wary and uncertain about what information is captured and why it’s necessary to do so. This is no different when it comes to the data HR gathers when sourcing candidates for roles, carrying out background checks and employee references. For a recruiter though it’s not about the amount of data found - it’s about the right data to make smart hiring decisions.

For example, two CVs can declare they have event management experience, however, one managed the end-to-end management of a conference of 500 delegates and the other managed all internal social events in their office – one word to describe two very different sets of skills and experiences. This will not be picked up when reading a CV, yet through technologically enabled background checks and employee screenings this contrast will be highlighted, and the more appropriate skillset selected. As almost everyone has a digital footprint, data capture of people can be a simple but quickly overwhelming task as unnecessary information about someone’s Myspace account. 

Employee referencing has evolved, it’s no longer the age-old process of manually gathering references once a candidate has been hired and waiting for skill verification. HR can now - and should - be utilising technology and blockchain to identify and gather data to validate a candidate to ensure smart hiring decisions are being made. This does not remove the human element. On the contrary it will enhance HR’s role, giving them time the time back to engage with the appropriate candidates, segment and target the right talent pools and create a talent acquisition strategy that will focus on the verified people an organisation needs.

To win the war on talent you need to hire the right people and with data you can be confident knowing that your workforce possesses the skills and character you and your competitors are striving for.

Are you unsure what your team needs to look for and what data tools can provide the solutions you need to build a digitally driven talent acquisition strategy? Our team of consultants can help you to unpick your data and select the solution right for your specific workforce planning requirements. Contact us today.


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