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Six rules to get the most accurate reference for a potential employee possible

by , 31 January 2014
In last week's Labour Bulletin I covered the best ways to get a reference for a possible employee. And, as promised, today's Bulletin covers the six 'rules' to getting the most of out of a reference call.

Keep reading to find out what these tips are...

3 Easy steps to protect yourself from legal comebacks

The South African labour laws offer your employees protection, but they also allow you a degree of flexibility in what you agree with your employee – so you need to be proactive and protect yourself.
Do this by taking these three steps today:
  1. Design an employment agreement (whether it's in the form of a contract or a letter) that complies with the law, but fits with your business requirements.
  2. Make it a requirement for the selected job applicant to sign the contract BEFORE commencing employment
  3. Explain (with the aid of an interpreter if necessary) the contents of the contract to the employee/applicant in a language he understands. This is required by law.

Six rules to get the most accurate reference for a potential employee possible
  • Be persistent. Remember the referee's just as busy as you are, and he'll probably try fob you off. Respect his time, but persevere, as he probably won't return your call if you agree to let him call you back.
  • Plan the calls in advance. Make sure you know what you want to ask the referee about the potential new recruit.
  • Be consistent and fair. Just like when you're interviewing candidates, it's important to maintain a consistent and fair process when you check references. Don't try lead the referees for answers you want. Make sure you ask the same questions to all referees about all candidates!
Keep reading to find out what the other three are...
Six rules to get the most accurate reference for a potential employee possible continued
  • Be aware. The most important part of a reference check is to listen; let him talk. Listen carefully to what he's saying and how he says it.
  • Keep it legal. The same discrimination laws that apply to interviewing apply to reference checking. Don't ask about marital status, age, disabilities, religion, ethnicity, etc.
  • Use our reference check sample template: Click here to download a sample document for questions you can, and should, ask during a reference check. This'll help you gather a wealth of information about the candidate. Remember to ask the referee to elaborate on any answers you want more info on. 
By gathering an outside perspective on the 'one', you'll know if your instinct to hire him was right or not. To get your hands on the tools and checklists you need to recruit a new employee, turn to R02: Recruitment in your Labour Law for Managers Handbook. Still not a subscriber? Click here now...
Until next time,

P.S Do you need to implement watertight policies and procedures in your company today? Get your hands on the 50 HR Policies and Procedures you need to cover yourself. Keep reading...

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