The Absurd Reference requirement
References are Absurd
Abandon the Archaic Practice and Move on with the World
Prospective employers should no longer require references. In technologically advanced and modern societies and businesses, the opinion of others is not a sound or reasonable metric of performance ability or character. In today’s world, the opinions of others are simply opinions – not best evidence to aid the hiring decision.
References do more harm than good in any hiring process. In an advanced society, the best evidence of performance ability is providing the candidate with an independent assessment test based on the specific goals and needs of the individual business. Countless issues can and often do arise when a business places the hiring of a prospective employee in the hands of a third person who is unaccountable for that individual’s future performance. Consider:
How much weight do you give to a reference? Is it a measure of an individual’s popularity? Are you confident that making hiring decisions based on a popularity poll is the best way? (Not a single professional establishment would advise this.) Or, is it a nuisance requirement that continues because no one at the entity has had the courage to do away with the redundant practice that offers little to no value or protection to the business?
Instead, hiring decisions should be based on independent and bias-free evidence sources, such as background, drug, credit, criminal, and education checks – if and where necessary and applicable. Further, every business is unique. So, every business should have an independent assessment test that accurately screens for the traits and skills most desirable to that business.
If you’re unconvinced that ditching the archaic process is the way to go, consider that lying on resumes, cover letters, and job applications is no longer the exception but a sovereign rule. For better or worse, even good intentioned candidates cross the line manipulating and tweaking their past experience trying to outsmart human resources software. And then there are the brazen multitudes with resources to spare who splurge on recommendations and everything in between to ensure they get the job or make the grade.
Startup CEO 4 Hire founder, Editor in Chief, Blogger