Informal reference checks gauge an individual's behavioural traits and professional fitment by asking prodding and non-standard questions
Firms look to employ behavioural profiling, informal reference checks to augment talent acquisition efforts
If you talk about talent strategy 3.0, it is all about driving business execution through integrated talent management. Business execution drivers provide the missing link between HR and business strategy. As a result, talent acquisition has changed completely in the last couple of years.
Recruiting organisations are increasingly facing the demand for niche competencies beyond domain expertise.
Traditional recruiting firms followed a two-step process for selecting and forwarding applications to a hiring organisation. The recruiting company would interview short-listed candidates and those selected would be sent to the hiring company for another selection process. The services, however, have evolved considerably to include behavioural valuation of the candidates.
Many recruiting service organisations have tied up with assessment firms to evaluate the technical and behavioural competencies of candidates. Assessments have become an important part of the recruitment process. Many service companies now offer scientific methodologies such as Thomas Profiling, Brain Mapping or Axiom tests depending on the level and criticality of the role.
Many recruiters are also developing in-house tests that assess behavioural competencies of a candidate customised to the culture and demands of the organisation. As a result, the importance of employing an experienced recruitment consulting organisation has increased manifold. Service providers are also expected to do informal reference checks during the hiring process. Earlier, the reference checks were mostly formal based on information provided by the candidates themselves. The norm is rapidly shifting to giving two to three informal reference checks in addition to the formal reference checks.
In an informal reference check, a recruitment service provider typically reaches out to colleagues and managers of an individual in his previous organisations, who are not mentioned in the formal reference checks. These informal reference checks ask more prodding questions like asking a manager in an ex-company of whether she/he would like to hire the individual back and the key considerations for that decision.
A good recruiting service organisation is one that has the ability to create a detailed behavioural profile of a candidate through informal means such as informal reference checks and social media investigations. The aspects that a recruiting consultant typically looks for in an informal profile include aspects like social life of the individual on a personal networking profile, profile of the network of friends in the personal network, recommendations received on LinkedIn and skill endorsements. As the bar on quality continues to grow, more and more recruiters will be looking for value-added partnerships that can help them find the right talent for business execution.
Satya D. Sinha is the CEO of Mancer Consulting Services