Secret #5 - Reference Checks

Some managers don't like doing reference checks... just like some people in sales don't like to prospect.  After all, a lot of references won't tell you anything... just like a lot of people won't be interested in the salesperson's product or service.  But, just like prospecting can pay off big, so can doing reference checks.  Don't be a Management Wuss... Check References.

Here's How

Who ya gonna call? - If the person you're considering is a loser, his past managers have paid a price, and this makes them more willing to tell you what they really think.  Your most important reference checks are with past managers, because they know the most and have the greatest motive to talk.

What do you say? - Tell them you want to verify some information.  Then, after verifying employment dates and income range, move right on to the good stuff.  

"How did her performance compare with others on the team?"  

"How well did he get along with other people?"

The most important question - When checking references, there is one question more important than any other.  Even if the manager doesn't want to tell you anything, try to squeeze this one in.  Here it is:

"One last thing, if you had an opening, would you rehire this person?"

No matter what they say, listen carefully to the tone of the manager's voice as he or she thinks about working with this person again.

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