When it comes to the hiring process, employers strive to make informed decisions about potential candidates. One vital aspect of this process is conducting reference checks, where employers reach out to a candidate's listed references to gather insights into their background and performance. In this blog post, we will explore the significance of reference checks and address the question on everyone's mind: Do employers actually contact references?

The Importance of Reference Checks: Do Employers Actually Contact References?

Gathering Information on Past Performance

One primary reason employers contact references is to gain valuable information about a candidate's past performance. By reaching out to previous employers or supervisors, employers can gain insights into the candidate's work ethic, problem-solving abilities, and interpersonal skills. These firsthand accounts help employers evaluate how well the candidate may fit within their organisation and contribute to its success. Calling or emailing references allows employers to gather specific examples and anecdotes that can shed light on the candidate's capabilities and potential for growth. You can read more on what types of questions to ask a reference here.

Verifying the Candidate's Record

Reference checks provide an opportunity for employers to verify the accuracy of the information provided by the candidate. Employers want to ensure that the candidate has been truthful about their skills, education, and work experience. By contacting references, employers can confirm the candidate's employment dates, job titles, and responsibilities. This verification process helps build trust between the employer and the candidate, as it demonstrates the candidate's integrity and transparency in their application.

Making Informed Hiring Decisions

Employers understand the significance of making well-informed hiring decisions. By contacting references, employers gain additional perspectives on the candidate's qualifications and suitability for the role. Reference checks offer a valuable opportunity to uncover any potential red flags or concerns that may not have been evident in the initial stages of the hiring process. Armed with this information, employers can make more informed decisions that align with their organisations needs and values.


Reference checks play a crucial role in the hiring process, allowing employers to gather essential information about potential candidates. While the exact practices may vary across different organisations and industries, employers commonly reach out to references to ensure they are making informed decisions. By contacting references, employers can gather insights into a candidate's past performance, verify their records, and make more informed hiring decisions. As a candidate, it is important to provide accurate and up-to-date references who can vouch for your skills and work ethic. By understanding the significance of reference checks, both employers and candidates can contribute to building successful and mutually beneficial professional relationships.

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.