To the list of things that people either love or hate — Tom Brady, cats, brussels sprouts — we can safely add reference checks. Fans see them as a sure-fire way to uncover candidates’ abilities and to learn if they are likely to be a phenom or a fiasco. Haters, on the other hand, find them to be a complete waste of time.
One of the reasons reference checks can feel unproductive is that many companies put no structure in place when asking candidates to list references. Predictably, they end up with the