Obtaining references is a legal requirement of agencies placing temporary workers and is integral to the recruitment process. The Employment Agencies Act 1973 and the Employment Agencies and Employment Business Regulations 2003 require us to “carry out suitability checks prior to employment for all temporary work seekers”. The responsibility lies on you, the recruiter, to obtain references from candidates that you place. Failure to obtain references could result in candidates having their offer withdrawn.
References can give an insight into the character of the candidate as well as verify their employment history and support the information provided on their CV or application form.
Seeking references is an indication of how the applicant will perform within the business and if they are the best fit for the workforce. A reference can support the information the candidate provided in the interview and can further test any skills or demands of the job.
Collating references can unearth valuable information which could set one applicant apart from the rest of the talent pool.
The process of collecting references acts as an opportunity to meet prospective new clients and can be a point of contact within the business when looking to develop a new working relationship.
Set an example
Obtaining references shows that Morson are dedicated to following the recruitment process which is attractive to prospective clients and assures existing clients that we are committed to following legal processes. If we were to be audited and found to be non-compliant, it can still result in the contractor being removed.
Due to the serious nature of requiring references for clients, many are starting to introduce their own guidelines to ensure references are obtained. For example, Balfour Beatty have specified in their Supplier Guide that obtaining references is in line with their screening requirements. “A reference is required from the candidate’s two previous employers. References obtained must match the detail provided on the candidates CV. If a match is not made with either dates or job title, these anomalies must be investigated.”