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How to Use Linkedin to Check References the Right Way

Hiring managers often complain that when they try to check a potential candidate’s references the only references they get are those provided by the candidate. These references hold an obvious bias. How can you ensure you are doing a thorough reference check? One hiring manager shared a unique strategy with me. Before making the candidate an offer, she would ask this individual if she could reach out to multiple sources in order to do a complete background check. Once she got approval from the candidate she would go to the candidate’s Linkedin page and view the individuals that also appeared on their Linkedin page. Linkedin has a section titled “people who searched for this individual also viewed.” This list of individuals (on the lower right hand side of the Linkedin profile page) is often a list of the candidate’s counterparts or acquaintances.

The hiring manager explained to me; “I would simply “linkin” and connect with these individuals and asked them their impressions of the candidate I was interviewing. The strategy is not only cost effective (it costs nothing), but also takes little time. I never had to pick up the phone and I got the information I was looking for by sending off a few emails. In addition, I feel I am really doing a thorough reference check. I can think of several instances where this tactic has saved me from making a bad hire.”

A candidate can also apply this concept when back checking a company or hiring manager who is trying to recruit them. As a professional recruiter I am continuously surprised by how candidates will often go to work for a company before they do their due diligence. Candidates are often told only the good things about the firm that is trying to recruit them.

Use the Linkedin page of the individual that is trying to recruit you to your advantage! Use the “people who searched for this individual also viewed” section to connect with individuals who either work for the firm or worked for the firm in the past. Ask them their impressions of the company and what it would be like to work for the hiring manager that is trying to recruit you.

Doing your due diligence from both a hiring manger’s perspective as well as a candidate’s perspective is critical to the success of everyone.

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