Applying for a new job puts people through many different emotions. Those feelings include excitement, nervousness, and anticipation. When waiting for the final step of reference checks, many wonder if they will get the job once the reference check is complete?
Most candidates get hired once the reference check is completed. However, around 30% of applicants will be rejected after the reference check. Determining factors for the rejection include unfavorable references and whether other qualified applicants applied for the job.
This article will explain what factors are involved in the reference check, how former employers’ feedback can affect your chances of getting a job, and what you can expect when waiting for the reference check to complete.
How Likely Are People To Get a Job Offer After a Reference Check?
Reference checks are often one of the final stages when applying for a job. They are the last verification from a potential employer that the employee will be a reliable hire. An important question you may wonder when waiting to hear back from a prospective employer is how likely people will be to get a job offer after a reference check?
It is somewhat likely that people will get a job offer after a reference check. Research has found that around 33% of applicants will not get the job after reference checks. A reference check doesn’t mean that the employer wants to hire you, but that they’re interested to find out more about you.
The applicants who don’t get hired can attribute it to the following:
- The references don’t have positive things to say about the employee.
- The previous work wasn’t related closely enough to the job the applicant is pursuing.
- Outdated references
A recent survey from Accountemps found that one in three employees will not get a job after reference checks. You should prepare ahead of time by making sure you are picking references who can best describe your previous job duties and what your strengths and weaknesses are.
You also want to pick employers you have worked with most recently as your references, so the information is the most up-to-date and relevant for the potential job. Most employers don’t want to hear from a job you had decades ago that may not be related to the field you are currently applying to get a position in.
Is It a Good Sign if an Employer Calls References?
If a company moves to the reference check phase, they use money and time to see if you are a good candidate. While waiting to hear back from a prospective employer, many people wonder if it is a good sign that the employer calls references.
If an employer calls references, it is a good sign that they were impressed with your resume and the interview enough to move the hiring process in the right direction. Most employers would not bother checking references if they had already decided that they would not hire an employee.
Most people consider it a positive sign when a potential employer asks if they can call your references. They would not waste their time reaching out to references if they did not consider someone a top candidate for a job.
Having a prospective employer ask if they can contact your references is one of the major hints that you may be in an excellent position to get a job.
Not all employers call references for people, even if they plan on hiring them. But if the interviewer asks if they can call them, you should know that you are just another step closer to the final stages of the hiring process.
How Soon After the Reference Check Is a Job Offer Made?
Once an employer asks to check your references, they need to make contact with the references you’ve listed. It is common to wonder how much time it will take to get a job offer after being asked to check references.
A job offer gets made a week or two after the interviewer completed a reference check. The amount of time can vary depending on how the prospective employer contacts the references, how large a corporation is on either side of the reference check, and how busy both parties involved are.
Reference checks aren’t always done through the phone anymore, but a multitude of methods are used. Emails, texts, and even video calls are used, and can often take time to set up and go through to complete the reference.
So it could take shorter or longer depending on the mode of conducting the reference check.
There could also be someone else besides the interviewer conducting the reference check. It’s common to have more than one person involved in the hiring process in larger companies. Therefore, it may take time for the person who interviewed a candidate to contact the person responsible for conducting the reference check.
Because most jobs and their employers have multiple responsibilities, a reference check may not occur immediately following an interview. There could be more pressing needs that a business is dealing with than conducting the reference check.
The company could also have different days to handle various tasks or be off work entirely on certain days. These days off could include weekends, holidays, or other days depending on the company.
The person you listed as the reference may also have priorities that cause a delay in the reference check. People are often busy, so a connection is not always possible to be available immediately following an interview.
Your reference could be on vacation, have the day off work, or be busy with their job or family responsibilities. So it is not always the quickest process for the reference check for both parties involved. Often, there is some planning necessary to arrange the reference check in the first place.
Keep this in mind when you agree to the reference with your contact.
Should You Let Your References Know That a Potential Employer Is Calling Them?
When a potential employer asks for references to contact, it may feel like there is nothing that you can do on your end. You may feel like the only option is to sit and wait to hear back from the employer after contacting your references and hoping for the best. One thing that may come to mind for many people is if you should let your references know that a potential employer will call them.
You should let your references know that a potential employer is calling them. Letting your references know ahead of time will allow them to be prepared and give you the chance to let them know any information you think is vital for the employer.
Talking to your reference ahead of time also lets the reference know good talking points that would benefit you the most.
You can take steps to get an idea of what the reference will say about you. Let them know ahead of time, provide them with any information you think is relevant, and ask them questions about what they are going to say about you.
Many people mistake not telling their references about the call ahead of time, which is problematic because they do not have time to prepare for the call appropriately.
Should You Call if You Haven’t Heard Back After Reference Check?
Waiting to hear back about a possible employment opportunity can feel like an eternity. There are endless hours of going over how you think it went in your head. If you have been waiting for an unusually long time, you may wonder if you should call the potential job if you have not heard back after the reference check?
You should call if you haven’t heard back after the reference check. Some employers frown upon this, but most employers like the initiative and the interest it shows on the employee’s behalf if they call to follow up on an interview.
People get busy or forgetful, and jobs are no exception.
While the job interview may be the number one priority for you, your potential employer may be juggling multiple responsibilities and deadlines and could have honestly forgotten to call the reference or you back.
If several days or even weeks have gone by and you are still waiting for a callback, it is good to follow up and ensure the reference check.
Interviewing can be a long, stressful process before the ultimate reward of getting that job you wanted. One of the final formalities before getting hired is a reference check. Getting a reference check means that you are close to getting the job, but that doesn’t mean it’s a guarantee.
Keep the following things in mind:
- It is a good sign that you made it to the reference check phase.
- Let your reference know the call is coming.
- Reference checks can take time, depending on the schedules of both parties.
- You can always call to follow up with the employer.
- AZ Big Media: 1 in 3 Job Candidates Removed After Reference Checks
- JVS Toronto: 7 Signs That You Have Had A Winning Job Interview
- Reddit: How long after the reference check should I expect to receive an offer at a small company?
- CareerUSA.org: Should I Tell My References That They May Be Contacted?
- Monster: 5 ways references can lose you a job