The title of this blog may sound almost too elementary, but there is a growing shift in attitude by a hiring firm or two that I want to address. External third-party reference checking is out.
Now I am sure I have your attention. The growing trend is that hiring firms are not relying on third-party reference checking, but are doing their own independent due diligence on all candidates that they are seriously considering. But here is the key point: they are not just asking the typical reference checking questions, they are delving much deeper. Because they are talking to their contemporaries in the industry, hiring firms are finding out a lot more about potential candidates actual reputation within the industry (which is much more personalized). So now it isn’t just a matter of can you bring in the business, it’s more of how you treat your clients, and the other people you interact with on transactions.
Just recently, after landing a new client, they asked about the process of reference checking. I told him we review FINRA, talk to the candidates suggested references, and submit a complete reference check for their review. This hiring firm asked us to dig even deeper to find out specifically if they put their financial interest above the clients interest, or vice versa. Another client told us that they were going to personally check with their industry contacts to find out everything about a candidate – from how they get their business to how they interact with all their subordinates, thus revealing if the candidate is a real team player. I believe that the fear that someone would find out a candidate is thinking of making a move is now subordinate to a company finding the true scoop about a potential new employee. So now that you are aware of this growing trend, do not be surprised if you hear that someone is asking about you in the industry. Rest assured clients are only talking to people they know and trust because this new method is reciprocal. One time the hiring firm may be asking for information, the next they may be sharing information.
About Harlan Friedman, JD & Founding Member, H. Friedman Search LLC. Harlan is a thirty-year veteran Public Finance Banker turned recruiter who specializes in the placement of all level Public Finance Bankers, Health Care Bankers, Municipal Financial Advisors, Compliance Officers, FinOps & Bond Counsels. He can be reached at [email protected] or 760-477-1284.