5 Reference-Related Trends Stand Out In 2014
Improve your chances of landing a job by following five reference trends.
By Jeff Shane for Hcareers.com
In reflecting on her efforts to find that new Hotel Vacation Manager position, Elizabeth realized that—halfway through 2014—her efforts thus far had been disappointingly unsuccessful. What might she need to know to improve her chances through the remainder of the year?
As we reach the halfway point in the 2014 calendar year, reference checking firm Allison & Taylor has identified five key employment trends that job seekers like Elizabeth should consider during their employment search for the remainder of 2014.
1. References have become more, not less, valuable with former supervisors becoming increasingly critical.
The overall job market remains tight and a candidate's job references will almost surely tip the scales—in their favor, or against them. Former supervisors have increasingly become the "go to" references for prospective employers who have realized that they are far more likely to give candid feedback about a candidate than more traditional HR references.
2. Employers are increasingly conducting reference checks earlier in the job screening process.
Traditionally, employers have conducted their reference checks at the end of the candidate screening process after the interviewing process has been concluded. However, an increasing number of employers are deciding that it is more efficient to conduct the reference checks prior to the interview process. The rationale: screen out candidates with a negative reference(s) prior to taking up the valuable time of managers in what sometimes becomes a labor-intensive interview process.
3. Maintaining close contact with your references has become increasingly important due to demographic shifts in the workplace.
Many people in upper-level management are “baby boomers” who are now hitting retirement age. While this translates to more employment opportunities at all levels of management, it also means that keeping in close contact with your references becomes increasingly important. If that key reference retires, and you don’t have his or her current contact information, it could be detrimental to your job seeking process.
4. Staying in touch with former employers can be crucial as “boomerang” hiring intensifies.
Companies that may have had to lay workers off in recent years are now looking to increase their numbers, and many are more than willing to rehire old employees. This is true for a number of reasons, e.g. the employers know what type of employee they are getting based on past experience, the rehired employee may have learned some new skills in the interim, etc.
5. Effectively formatting one's references can give a candidate a "leg up" on the competition.
Savvy job seekers are modernizing their reference lists to make a powerful statement of their qualifications. An effective reference list will identify those attributes the references can attest to, something that will make the prospective employer's job easier—and is guaranteed to reflect the job seeker in a proactive light. (See one such sample format here.)
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AllisonTaylor and its principals have been in the business of checking references for corporations and individuals since 1984. AllisonTaylor is headquartered in Rochester, Mich. For further details on services and procedures please visit http://www.allisontaylor.com/.
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