Are you tired of spending weeks manually checking candidates’ references and backgrounds? Perhaps you have heard about automated reference checking software and want to give it a try but don’t know where to start. Good news: this step-by-step guide will have you set up in no time! When adopting any new system or process, having a thorough strategy is the key to success, and this practical guide for HR professionals on incorporating automated referencing into their recruitment process is just what you need to get started. Let’s dive in.

Integrating Automated Referencing into Your Recruitment Strategy: A Step-by-Step Guide

Step 1: Understanding the Importance of Automated Referencing

Firstly, it’s important to understand why you’ve committed to starting this journey. Although (as you’ll see) integrating automated referencing software into your business is relatively quick and streamlined, you have to know why you’re changing your work practices to boost your success.

Automated referencing software is a strategic tool that helps businesses hire more confidently, quickly, and intelligently. There are many obvious benefits, such as:

  • Speed and efficiency: Automated referencing can significantly reduce the time and effort required to complete reference checks, allowing recruiters to focus on other tasks. One recruitment agency reported saving three weeks per candidate, while another found references returned in less than 36 hours on average, with a 92% reduction in time saved!
  • Speed up time-to-hire: Automated referencing software drastically reduces the time to hire, allowing companies to make quicker hiring decisions. Faster hiring secures top talent in competitive markets and minimises the risk of losing candidates to other opportunities during lengthy reference check processes. 
  • Accuracy and consistency:  Reference checks are vital in understanding and verifying a candidate’s skill set. Automated systems ensure that all reference checks are conducted consistently, reducing the risk of errors or omissions. 
  • Cost-effectiveness: Automated referencing can save businesses money by eliminating the need for manual data entry and follow-up.

Step 2: Evaluating Your Current Referencing Process

Before implementing automated referencing, it is important to evaluate your current process to identify areas for improvement. Ask yourself these questions:

  • How long does it typically take to complete a reference check?
  • What percentage of references are completed within the required timeframe?
  • What are the most common challenges or issues encountered during reference checks?
  • How much time do recruiters spend on reference checks each week?
  • Are my recruiters happy or frustrated with the current referencing process?

By understanding your current process, you can identify opportunities to streamline and automate tasks, thereby improving efficiency and reducing costs. You will also have a benchmark to compare your new system to once it’s implemented.

Step 3: Choosing the Right Automated Referencing Platform

There are several great options out there in the automated referencing checking space. To make sure you make the right choice for your business, consider the following factors:

  • Ease of use: The platform should be easy to set up and use, even for those with limited technical expertise. 
  • Features: The platform should offer a wide range of features, such as standardised reference questionnaires, a Talent Pool that helps you find and attract employees while reference checking your candidates, secure storage of reference data, and integration with existing HR systems. 
  • Free trial: It’s a good idea to try any software before you take the plunge (RefNow, for example, offers a free demo with five free checks). 
  • Cost: Are there multiple tiers like with RefNow? Do you have to pay a huge fee upfront?
  • Compliance: The platform must be completely compliant to shield you from legal issues. It absolutely must be GDPR-compliant.

Step 4: Training Your Team

Once you have selected an automated referencing platform, it is important to train your team on how to use it effectively to maximise your efficiency. This training should cover the following topics:

  • Creating and sending reference requests
  • Tracking the status of reference checks
  • Reviewing and evaluating reference reports
  • Utilising additional features like Talent Pool to expand your list of candidates
  • Customising your platform through features such as customisable question profiles and custom emails

Step 5: Integrating With Your Existing HR Systems

Your automated reference checking platform should quickly and easily be able to integrate with your existing systems. In this fast-paced market, extended downtimes are not an option, so integrations are a must, as they will save you a huge amount of time and speed up your workflow.

There are many HR, payment, and recruitment software solutions out there, and your new reference checking platform should work nicely with all of them. For instance, RefNow works with all the top systems in use.

Step 6: Communicating the Change to Stakeholders

Notifying recruiters, hiring managers, and HR specialists about the change is crucial in order to make sure that everyone is aware of the new procedure and how it will affect their jobs. One of the biggest problems in introducing a new system is pushback or confusion from employees, so the importance of this step can’t be over-emphasised.

Be sure to explain the benefits of automated reference checking software, as well as provide any training necessary to get all relevant employees up to speed.

Step 7: Monitoring and Adjusting

After automated referencing is put into place, it's critical to keep a careful eye on it and make any necessary adjustments. Metrics like cost savings, time savings, and reference report accuracy can be tracked to help you pinpoint areas that need improvement, as well as to compare to your previous system to see how much time and energy you’re saving. RefNow has this all built-in and includes robust features such as real-time tracking and detailed analytics.

If you’re interested in boosting your business with automated reference checking, why not start your journey with the number one reference checking software? Book a free demo with RefNow today.

If you would like to learn more about how RefNow's automated Employment Referencing software can help your organisation, reach out to us today and get your first 5 checks free.