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A client has asked me to reach out to a candidate's references and type up the results of the conversations.  This is the first time I have gotten this request in five years as a recruiter.  Does anyone have any suggestions for the final product to be delivered to the client.  What should it look like, etc.  I have a general idea of the questions to ask, but any suggestions along those lines would be greatly appreciated, too.  Or if anyone has a form they use, a copy of that would be hugely appreciated.

Thanks in advance...!


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Adam, if you give me your email address I can send you a couple of sample forms.

Hi template for doing the reference check is: 

Applicant's Name:             ____________________________________________________

Position Applied For:  _______________________________________________________

Reference Check Form – 1

Name of Reference & Title:  ______________________________________________________

Reference's Telephone Number:            ________________________________________________

Name of Individual Conducting Reference Check:  ________________________________________

Date Reference Check Completed:  _________________________________________________

What was your relationship to ___________? (Supervisor–CoWorker–Team Lead)  What company did you work together / know each other from?  When was that?



Describe their responsibilities and performance while working with you?  Any major accomplishments that stand out?



Did they manage other employees/ If so, how many?



Describe their interpersonal skills with the clients.  Team members?



Did they help out team members who needed help with their work?



Did you have any issues with their attendance and punctuality?



What are some of their strengths or assets that stood out to you?  Areas of improvement?



On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being best, where do you rate their professionalism? 



How did they handle multiple priorities?  Organizational skills?  Able to perform under pressure?



What was your understanding of the reason ______________ left the company?



Is there anything else that we have not covered that you really want to make sure we consider about _______________?



            Thank you for your time, I really appreciate you providing this additional information, it will be very helpful in making a more informed decision in our hiring.  Have a great day!

And my template for sending the references summary (key bullet points only) to the HM is: 

Candidate Name - Position Title - References Complete


Please remember that these are the opinions of the reference and these opinions are based on what is remembered of the Candidate while in that position and in that working environment.  While we hope this information will be helpful and as close to accurate as possible, we can not rely on these references as pure fact.  Please take each reference with a grain of salt - positive or negative.


I spoke with X references; X supervisors and X coworkers. 


Perceived strengths:


Possible areas to improve:

Megan - that is a great template - I'm definitely going to use - thank you!

Thanks very much Amber and Megan....Greatly appreciated!

Hi Adam and others, 

You can completely automate this process and generate a really sharp PDF report complete with detailed reference feedback by using an automated reference checking service.  It will take far less time, generate far better results and help build your candidate and client prospect base in the process.  

Check out the reference offering at  There is even a free trial of the service here

Thanks, George...I'll take a look!

In addition to standardized questions, I create questions based upon any "red flags" that I identify in the interview. i hate doing references but when I do, I try to get to the "nitty gritty."


I love the idea of automating (and standardizing) the reference checking process - otherwise it's too subjective and risky. Not only is the industry's most reliable solution, their reporting alleviates the challenges of coming up with a finished product that can be easily shared with others.

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