Strengths and Weaknesses: Applicant Reference Questions

In this series of posts, we’re exploring the best questions to ask applicant references. This process is a beneficial one and provides a lot of insight into the candidate’s work ethic and performance. In turn, this will ensure you understand you are placing a qualified and eager candidate into your client’s business. We’ve already covered questions regarding work performance, so now we’re going to go into more detail on asking about strengths and weaknesses of a candidate. Before continuing, protect your staffing firm with a Staffing Employment Practices Liability insurance policy.

Why should I complete a reference check?

What was once a formality to verify the applicant’s former position and dates employed, a reference check now serves a larger purpose. Times have changed, and this process reflects that. Now, employers and staffing agencies alike can contact references to determine a lot about the candidate.

In fact, a properly executed reference check allows you:

  • To verify that the individual is who he or she claims to be
  • To gain insight into how he or she is viewed by peers, and
  • To find out information that the candidate didn’t provide in his or her application, resume, or interview.

While the process is anything but fun, it’s a responsibility that all business owners should take seriously. It could mean the difference between a thriving company with a strong corporate culture and a deteriorating business with poor work ethic and hostile relations, explains Inc.

Strengths and weaknesses.

This is a cliché question, but it allows you to get a deeper understanding of the candidate. Things they are good at were likely showcased in the resume and cover letter, while weaknesses tend to be pushed to the side.

Listen for the potential weaknesses that can changed over time, such as not having certain skills or familiarity with certain programs. These things can be taught and shouldn’t be a concern. However, for traits such as lack of attendance or poor attitudes, or things that directly conflict with the position, this should raise a red flag.

Asking whether this employer would rehire this candidate, weaknesses considered, will give you the answer you need.

About World Wide

For the last 50 years, World Wide Specialty Programs has dedicated itself to providing the optimal products and solutions for the staffing industry. As the only insurance firm to be an ASA commercial liability partner, we are committed to that partnership and committed to using our knowledge of the industry to provide staffing firms with the best possible coverage. For more information about Staffing Professional Liability Insurance or any other coverage we have available to protect your staffing business, give us a call at (800) 245-9653 to speak with one of our representatives.