There are various stages in the job recruitment process, and one of them is the reference check. Your prospective employers will ask you to submit references. Once they have satisfied that the references are correct, they may offer you a job.
The time taken to offer a job after completing a reference check varies from company to company. While some may offer the job within a couple of days, others may take about a week or even more to make up their mind finally. It’s especially true if they are considering multiple candidates. In that case, they would conduct a reference check on everyone before deciding to whom they will offer the job.
Hence, rather than getting impatient, keeping a clear head and continuing the job search in the intervening period is crucial. Since this is entirely up to the recruiters, there is very little you can do about it.
However, certain factors can help you gauge when the company will likely make you an offer in case you are selected. Since many factors may be responsible here, let us look at them.
Are You Sure to Receive a Job Offer After a Reference Check?
It can take a few days to a couple of weeks for the employers to get back to you after a reference check. However, there is no guarantee that you will receive a job offer after a reference check. There are a few scenarios that you have to consider here:
1. Time of Seeking Reference
The time of the reference check is crucial to whether you will receive an offer after the check is done. Some companies ask for references right at the beginning. That means you have to send your references when you send your first job application along with your CV.
Some companies will go through the list, make a few calls and then proceed with the rest of the recruitment procedure. Then, after they are satisfied with your interviews, they may do a detailed reference check and consider you for the position.
In such a case, it could be a while before you get an offer after the reference check.
2. Number of Candidates
Sometimes, prospective employers will do a reference check once they have shortlisted a few candidates. Suppose they have three openings and have shortlisted seven candidates for the positions.
They will conduct a reference check on each of them and offer the jobs to the ones they find most satisfactory, based on the references’ responses and a few other parameters.
3. Surety of Employment
Lastly, the employers will only conduct a reference check once they have more or less made sure they will offer the job to a particular candidate. Conducting a reference check is to finalize everything and ensure their decision is correct.
Some companies may also conduct background checks at this point. Once they are satisfied with the results, they will finally make the formal offer to the applicant.
What to do if You Do Not Hear From HR After The Reference Check, And How Long Should You Wait?
Suppose you do not receive a job offer after a reference check. In that case, the company has decided to proceed with someone else. In some cases, they may be taking extra time to decide.
In that case, you can call the company about a week or ten days after the date they told you they might likely conduct the reference check. You may also send an email stating that you were enquiring about the status, and the company will inform you whether they are not moving ahead with you at all or will inform you a few days later.
If they tell you you have not been selected, be gracious and thank the recruiters for the opportunity to interact with them and continue your job search. Do not try to force a conversation about why you were not selected or whether there was something wrong with your reference or background check.
Is a Reference Check a Good Sign During a Recruitment Process?
Yes, since a reference check is primarily done in the last stages of the recruitment process, the employers are seriously considering you for a position. It means that they were impressed with what you had to say during the interview, which is why they have moved on to the reference check.
Hence, if you are sure that you have provided at least three strong references, you will most likely land the job. It’s something to look forward to, as most companies don’t reject a candidate after a reference check unless they find serious anomalies or there are other deciding factors.
Factors That Determine The Duration of Receiving an Offer After a Reference Check
As mentioned earlier, quite a few factors affect the duration when you are called after a reference check.
1. Size of The Organization
The size of the organization matters. If it is a small company, then there are likely fewer people to look into all the aspects of recruitment. If they are low on labor, it will take some time to reach out to the various candidates’ references.
2. The Complexity of The Procedures
Some companies are more thorough with their reference and their background checks. They want to make sure that they have chosen the best possible candidate, especially if they are selected for a senior position. But even apart from that, they might need to be thorough with every aspect of the hiring procedure.
3. Delay With Contacts
Sometimes, it could take some extra time to contact all the references. Some may be out of town or unreachable due to personal reasons. Hence, it could take some time for the recruiters to get in touch with them and complete the procedure.
4. Urgency of Employment
If the recruiters need employees to fill specific positions, they are far more likely to speed up the process. They will contact the references more proactively and do the needful. In that case, the candidates may hear from them sooner compared to other times.
How to Ensure That You Get Selected After a Reference Check?
If you want to ensure that you get selected after a reference check, you must refrain from doing a few things.
- First, always provide the accurate contact details of your references. If your recruiters find it difficult to reach them, they might give up entirely if they are in a hurry to fill the position and move forward with someone else.
- Always provide accurate information about your references. Ensure that you have the correct names and designations. Do not try to fake your references. Companies will almost always reject candidates if they find out the candidates have provided fake details.
- Do not cite a friend or a relative as a reference unless a company has specifically asked for personal references. Or at least clarify it with HR first. Sometimes, companies do not go ahead with candidates who have cited personal references because they automatically assume that their views may be biased in the candidate’s favor.
It’s natural to get impatient after you have reached the last leg of the interview and to hear from your recruiters after going through the reference check. However, it is better to wait for some time before you reach out to them and ask about it.
It can take a couple of days to about ten days for a company to get back to you. It is crucial to keep an open mind during this time, and after the period is over, email and make a call. If all goes well, you will land a job after the company has conducted its reference check.