HomeHome SearchSearch MenuMenu Our productsOur products

Consider these two points when calling references so you don't violate the applicants' rights

by , 17 October 2014
There are five steps to conducting background checks on potential employees.
One of these steps is to contact the applicant's references.

Now there are two points you must consider when calling references. Read on to find out what they are so you won't violate the applicants' rights and open the door to legal comebacks.

Two points to consider when calling references

1. When calling references, you must avoid asking subjective questions such as 'tell me about the applicant's personality?' You must ask specific questions about the tasks and role he previously held.
Bear in mind that questions related to the applicant's work behaviour and his reasons for leaving don't constitute a violation of his rights.
2. Evaluate the credibility of the person giving the reference.
A reference given by the applicant's immediate line manager is more credible than a reference given by a manager he didn't report to or an HR representative, says the Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf Service.
In addition, probe the identity of the person giving the reference. Nowadays, applicants put their friends and family as references. So you must investigate if the person giving the reference is legit.
Keep this in mind when it comes to reference checks…

*********** Product endorsement ************
Find out how you can hire the perfect candidate for the perfect job!

Are you almost at the end of your hiring process, but just can't seem to find the perfect candidate? Don't waste any more time! The 57 tests to hire the best people is the answer to your problem!

Read on to discover how you can find the right match for the perfect job by using this practical, effective testing tool!


When it comes to contacting the applicant's references, always remember this

The Employment Equity Act (EEA) says applicants have a right not to be discriminated against. The Act makes it clear that all checks must be relevant to the job the applicant has applied for.
In addition, applicants have a constitutional right to privacy.
The bottom line: Don't go overboard when doing reference checks. Always consider the two points above to avoid violating the applicants' rights.
PS: For more information on recruitment and conducting background checks, get your hands on Recruitment: The Complete Guide.

Related articles

Related articles

Related Products

Recommended for You 

  Quick Tax Solutions for Busy Taxpayers – 35 tax answers at a glance

Here are all the most interesting, thought-provoking and common tax questions
asked by our subscribers over the last tax year – everything from A to Z!

To download Quick Tax Solutions for Busy Taxpayers – 35 tax answers at a glance click here now >>>
  Employees always sick? How to stop it today

Make sure you develop a leave policy to regulate sick leave in your company.

BONUS! You'll find an example of the leave policy and procedure in this report.

To download Employees always sick? How to stop it today click here now >>>
  Absenteeism: Little known ways to reduce absenteeism

This FREE e-report will tell you how you can reduce absenteeism in your workplace while avoiding the CCMA and without infringing your employees' labour rights.

To download Absenteeism: Little known ways to reduce absenteeism click here now >>>
  7 Health & safety strategies to save you thousands

Don't let a health and safety incident cost you one more cent. Implement these seven
strategies in your company today.

To download 7 Health & safety strategies to save you thousands click here now >>>