Jenson Solutions (Jenson), a financial services company providing expert and considered finance resources to SMEs, are experiencing rapid growth. In 2013, they extended the team by 50% and in 2014 expect a further 66% growth. Like most organisations, the recruitment process at Jenson includes the time intensive task of collecting job references. Jenson were keen to explore ways to ensure job references informed the selection process in a trusted, time efficient manner.
Jenson selected ReferenceInConfidence, the online system for easy collection of candid references to streamline their recruitment process. “Prior to using ReferenceInConfidence, I would send out emails to referees, 3 or 4 per candidate, with a standard list of questions. To minimise workload, we would only seek references for candidates who reached final interview with the managing partner.” said Vicky Powell, HR Recruitment Administrator. “In the last year, we have recruited 12 partners, which has entailed managing 10-15 candidates, approximately 40-60 references! Thankfully, the last 4 candidates have been via ReferenceInConfidence and it has made a tremendous difference to my workload.” Vicky continued.
On review of the open references received by email, Jenson also began to question the validity of the references. “You can assume that factual questions are answered candidly, however, referees can be more reserved, perhaps feeling exposed, when asked more personal questions such as ‘would you work with the candidate again’ or about their ways of working. We were keen to see if we could get more candid responses – to make the job references more relevant in the selection process. We may even move to include job references earlier in the process as there is so little overhead for us.” Explains Vicky.
The administration of ReferenceInConfidence places the responsibility on the candidate to chase for completion of the reference process. Vicky added, “In complete contrast to my previous process, ReferenceInConfidence requires me to simply enter the candidate details and job title using the easy to use, intuitive web interface. The candidate then logs in, enters at least 4 referees and the system does the rest, emailing me when the report is ready to view. There is far less administrative involvement. By placing the onus on the candidate, it also provides us with a test of their motivation, displays their qualities and ways of working and whether they are serious about the position.”
Referees are emailed a configurable collection of 10 questions, including ratings and comment questions. The report contains average scores across the referees only, along with any free text fields – who answered which question how remains confidential. “By showing an average across the respondents, the report gives a more representative view of the candidate and encourages the referee to be more candid in their assessment of the candidate and therefore makes the references more relevant in the selection process.” Said Vicky.
Jenson have been delighted with the result and will use ReferenceInConfidence during their further expansion in 2014, to manage recruitment into 20 new positions. “ReferenceInConfidence will minimise our administrative overhead by managing the collection of over a hundred references. We will adapt the questions to the job role as required. I would not like to revert back to using the old time consuming process.“ concludes Vicky.