Whoever we are, and whatever job we apply for, there are common emotions we all feel. Anticipation, anxiety, excitement etc. We want to know if our application has been received, if the paperwork we submit in support of the application has been viewed favourable, if the references applied for by the company, we wish to work for have been applied for, received and are satisfactory. Most importantly we want to know if we are going to be offered the job and when we can get started?
Part of my role as a recruitment administrator for Access Care Live-in Care Agency in Hampshire involves applying for, chasing, receiving, and verifying the references that our Live-in Carers submit with their applications to register with us. In connection to this, one of the questions I hear so often from prospective Carers is “have you received all of my references back?” I sense the urgency and on occasion the desperation in the voices of those that ask me, and I understand their emotions completely.
The length of time a reference takes to come back will differ from person to person. It greatly depends on the company or person we are applying to as well, and it is ultimately out of the hands of the person applying to become a Live-in Carer with Access Care. Or is it?
Here is a few of my top tips that you can do to help:
Think carefully about the Referees you chose to give on your application. Former Employers (Supervisors & Managers), a work colleague, a teacher, or a stand-up person in your community with whom you have a good relationship e.g., Reverend, Doctor etc.
Ask your contact (in person if you can) if they will act as your Referee. If they agree then ask them for their contact details, full name, address, and an email address and then ask them how they would rather be contacted by your new potential employer and note this down. Often the company you are leaving may have a Human Resources (HR) department that will write your reference for you, contact them and be courteous and polite when you ask for their details.
Ensure the information regarding your Referees on your application form is correct and you add any notes that may help (e.g., a preferred method /time of contact).
Once you have given your potential new employer your referees details, call/contact them again to courteously let them know to expect contact within the coming days.
Finally, keep track of the process yourself. Stay in touch with the company you are applying for a job with to see if your references are back and if not, offer to help by placing another call to the person who agreed to act as your Referee in the first instance.
For me to hit my own KPI’s I know I need to make the request for your references the day I receive an application and my working practise has numerous touchpoints and follow-up requests in place to ensure I keep going (like a dog with a bone) until I receive them back. If the information the application provides to me is correct, then this really helps speed up the whole process, so it is really important. If you put the effort in to your application to start with it will really help expedite the entire process.
Any company that wants you on their team will be working hard and fast to receive your references and therefore expedite your application and with you doing your part (as listed above) and me doing ours, we can work together to achieve our goal!