It is com­mon for a prospec­tive em­ployer to ask in a ref­er­ence check if a for­mer em­ployer can com­ment on a can­di­date’s at­ten­dance. Pre­par­ing di­rect ques­tions to con­firm a can­di­date’s ex­pe­ri­ence, salary, ben­e­fits, cul­tural fit, work habits and char­ac­ter is

NT News - - CAREERS -

EX­EC­U­TIVE CON­SUL­TANT, HENDER CON­SULT­ING

I’ve seen many re­cruiters wrongly per­ceive ref­er­ence checks as a tick and flick part of the process, ask­ing su­per­fi­cial ques­tions with of­ten pre­dictable re­sponses, only for it to come back and bite them later. I once en­coun­tered a sce­nario where the can­di­date and ref­er­ees dis­cussed strate­gies of how they suc­cess­fully bal­anced the role’s re­quire­ments with flex­i­bil­ity to man­age a chronic health con­di­tion. It worked well for all par­ties.

DI­REC­TOR OF CON­SULT­ING SER­VICES, MOR­TON PHILIPS

At­ten­dance ques­tions in ref­er­ence checks are ir­rel­e­vant with­out con­text around the rea­sons for ab­sen­teeism. My ques­tion would be around the ac­cu­mu­la­tion of sick leave and how “new” the re­cruit is. Pre­sum­ing the em­ployee hasn’t been there long enough to ac­cu­mu­late the amount of sick leave they’re tak­ing, the em­ployer, who has an obli­ga­tion to en­sure the sound health of staff, can raise ques­tions then about un­paid leave.

ALEXAN­DRA ROSSER

HEAD OF OR­GAN­I­SA­TIONAL PSY­CHOL­OGY CON­SULT­ING, STILLWELL MAN­AGE­MENT CON­SUL­TANTS

Best prac­tice in­volves ask­ing ref­er­ees ques­tions about at­ten­dance, ei­ther with a di­rect ques­tion such as “Can you com­ment on their at­ten­dance/ re­li­a­bil­ity?”, or indi­rectly, such as “Have you had any con­cerns about their per­for­mance?” and “Would you hire the em­ployee again; if not, why not?”. You could in­clude pre-em­ploy­ment med­i­cal screen­ing in the re­cruit­ment process. Cara Jenkin, Me­lanie Burgess. Sales: Claude Bin. Place an ad: Call 131 841, email deb.milnesp@news.com.au or visit newsjobs.com.au Clas­si­fied dis­play ad­ver­tis­ing, com­plete ma­te­rial be­fore noon Thurs­day. Line ad­ver­tis­ing, by phone 5pm Thurs­day.

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