January 25th, 2017 | Sterling

Infographic: In-House Vs Third Party Reference Checks


A résumé can only tell you so much about a job candidate. It is great for determining a candidate’s qualifications and experiences, but won’t show how your candidate behaved on the job every day. Reference checks go beyond the basics to find out more about your candidate. They empower you to speak with former supervisors and managers to reveal a candidate’s strengths, weaknesses and overall performance.

One study found that job candidates frequently give misleading information about their length of stay with a former organization, job titles, job responsibilities or college credentials. In fact, 53% of all job applications contain inaccurate information from fabricating a college degree, listing false employers or jobs that did not exist. Failing to perform due diligence when hiring could result in a bad hire, which could cost a company thousands of dollars.

If reference checks are done well, they can give hiring managers critical information helping to identify if the candidate will be successful in the new job. Reference checks require good timing, great questions and outstanding intuition.

Benefits of Having a Third Party Reference Check Solution

There are many advantages to having a third party conduct reference checks. Third party reference checks save organizations time and money and they are more affordable than in-house checks, as it gives the HR professional valuable time back that would have been spent making reference calls. A third-party provider’s time is more flexible and they are available when a referee calls back with a reference. Interviewers know how to get correct details the first time around as well as probe for more information when necessary. Most importantly, third-parties have never met the candidate, so there is no interviewer bias.


Outsourcing your reference checks allows for convenient options to drive background screening turnaround times down. Sterling Talent Solutions offers two options to enhance reference completion rates since referees can choose to respond in a manner that is a convenience for them:

  1. Speak to one of our professional Verification Specialists by phone
  2. Reply in writing by email (eReferences)

Providing options minimize turnaround time and enhance completion rates. When referees are given the option to reply online to the reference checks questions on-line, they usually reply quickly, usually within 24 hours.

Sterling Talent Solutions created the In-House vs.Third Party Reference Checks infographic to explain the benefits of outsourcing reference checks as compared to performing reference checks in-house. Learn more about the importance of a comprehensive hiring solution from criminal record checks to educational verification in our eBook, Background Screening 101.

This publication is for informational purposes only and nothing contained in it should be construed as legal advice. We expressly disclaim any warranty or responsibility for damages arising out this information. We encourage you to consult with legal counsel regarding your specific needs. We do not undertake any duty to update previously posted materials.