The Importance of Job References
Article by Adrian Lopez-Obespo, Practice Manager at Jobspring Los Angeles
Hunting for a job in technology follows more classic job search trends than most people in the field tend to think! Many people in technology fall into the assumption that their skillset or an application they developed or designed is enough to get them a job at the company they are interviewing with. While those things are definitely enough to get an interview and develop high interest, rarely is it enough now to secure a new position.
Companies are hiring aggressively for the top technical talent but this isn’t to say they aren’t being strategic! People hire people, not resumes. As recruiters it’s our job to help highlight the things that your resume doesn’t always show. One of the best ways to do this is to provide references and to do so early in your search.
Find your next tech role in LA today.
The unfortunate stereotype with providing references to recruiters is that we are going to badger your friends and colleagues and ask them if they are hiring, looking for work, know anyone else who is looking, etc. To be clear, this is definitely not the focus when recruiters receive your resumes. Below are the purposes that references do serve and what recruiters look to get out of speaking with them.
1. Highlight Strengths - Recruiters want to place people; plain and simple. References allow us to talk to people that a candidate knows in order to highlight their strong suits or to ask about skills that may be important to the job. Ideally, a good reference will put the candidate in the best possible light.
2. Address Concerns - Hiring managers want to make sure they know as much as possible about the people they are bringing on to their teams. Even more specifically, they want to make sure there are no red flags. Most of the time, recruiters will know the concerns that a hiring manager has and therefore can address these with the references. References tend to want to provide positive insight and will typically shape any concerns in a way that shines well on the candidate.
3. Measure the Quality of the Reference - Many candidates tend to provide the most recent people they’ve worked with and not always those who will give the most positive reference. Since recruiters talk to these references first, they can report back to a candidate when they probably shouldn’t use a certain person as a reference.
Again, recruiters want to make placements and will do their best to set candidates up for
success. A good reference can be the deciding factor in turning an interview into a new job.