It is strongly recommended that the hiring department conduct reference checks prior to extending an offer of employment. The purpose of reference checks is to verify facts stated by a candidate during the interview, to clarify any concerns you have about a candidate’s background or qualifications, and to validate your assessment. The objective of a reference check is to obtain information on the individual's work performance and on personal characteristics that affect (positively or negatively) the individual's suitability for the particular position sought.
External Candidate Reference Checks: While the Talent Acquisition and Selection Branch does solicit references for external candidates, the information obtained is generic in nature. It is therefore recommended that the hiring department contact references as well.
Who should be contacted to provide a reference?
Contact individuals that were provided by the candidate as well as current or former supervisors/managers. Typically, the candidate’s current supervisor/manager will be able to provide the most reliable information. Be sure you have the candidate’s permission to contact his or her current supervisor so that you don't jeopardize their current position.
What information should be requested?
Prior to contacting the references, make a list of questions that you would like to ask. The questions must be job-related and specific to the requirements of the job.
How should the reference check be conducted?
Make sure to identify yourself and the purpose of the call; also, assure your contact that all information that is discussed will remain confidential. Occasionally, the individual that you contact for a reference may be hesitant to provide information. If this happens, you may offer to send a signed form showing that the candidate indicated his or her permission to obtain references on his or her behalf.
Continue by describing the position for which the candidate is being considered, including the specific responsibilities of the job and the skill set necessary to be successful in this position. Be sure to ask if your contact believes that the candidate would be effective in the target position and ask follow-up questions to obtain specific information/examples in support of the recommendation (or lack of recommendation). Always include in your reference check the question, "Would you re-employ this individual?". Often this question brings forth information that you were unable to get with other questions. Of course, at the conclusion of the communication, be sure to thank your contact.
Internal Candidate Reference Checks:
When considering a current LAUSD employee as a final candidate for a position, you should contact the candidate’s current supervisor to obtain information about the employee’s present work performance. Be sure to advise the candidate that you will be speaking with his or her supervisor, before contacting that individual for a reference.
Once you are comfortable that the selection that you have made is a good one, re-connect with the Assignment Technician in the Employment Services Branch to let them know that you would like them to make an offer. The Assignment Technician will then contact the candidate and make arrangements for any new-hire processing or paperwork that must be completed. The Assignment Technician will advise you as to when the candidate will be able to start in his or her new position.