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Are You Utilizing Reference Checks?

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Are You Utilizing Reference Checks?

One of the most important parts of the hiring process is one of the most over-looked—The Reference Check.   Checking references is usually done in haste in order to get an offer out to a candidate as quickly as possible, but in doing so, a great opportunity is missed.  Let me explain.

Reason One:

Let’s say you are about to hire an MSL who is an expert in your therapeutic field, and they provide you with three references—a former manager, a peer (an MSL), and a KOL.  The candidate you are about to hire just introduced you to three people you are very likely to want to know.  First, the former manager is going to give insight into how to manage this new employee and pin-point areas for continued development.  They will also reassure you that you are hiring the right person, or in the rare case, keep you from hiring the wrong person.

Reason Two:

The peer is a great person for you to know because most likely they are of the same quality and therapeutic expertise of the person you are about to hire yet in another geography.  It is basically a chance for you to meet a superstar that you may reach out to for your next hire.

Reason Three:

The KOL is invaluable as I’m sure you see.  Imagine this is a KOL with which your organization has had a difficulty interacting.  Imagine this is a KOL that you interact with all the time, and this is just another way to strengthen the relationship.  Think how bought-in the KOL will feel when you are asking their opinion about hiring.  Can you see the value in these calls now?

Utilizing Your Recruiter:

As a recruiter, I jump at the chance to do reference checks mainly for the reasons outlined above (especially for reasons one and two).  So, I’m not trying to get you to do my job for me.  Even if your recruiter preforms the reference checks, I still recommend the hiring manager to call with a few questions.   The reason for that is because so much about what is said is how it is said.  Typed notes can only tell you so much.

Another Idea:

I also recommend that if you’re going to have your recruiter do references, do have them done before the final interview if possible.  Now, this isn’t always feasible, especially if you have a large pool of finalists or if the candidate only has references from their current employer.  If it is possible, doing them before the final interview can help you craft your questions and can help you identify areas of concern that you want to further vet.

I hope these tips help strengthen your hiring process, and if you want to discuss these ideas in more depth, I’d be more than happy to carve out some time.

See you at the top!

~Michael Pietrack

About the Author: Michael Pietrack is a leading executive recruiter in a the Pharmaceutical Industry and arguably the top recruiter in the Medical Affairs space. His specific expertise is recruiting in Field Medical Affairs placing Medical Science Liaisons, and therefore, he has been dubbed “The MSL Recruiter” (www.TheMSLRecruiter.com).

What is TMAC Direct?: TMAC Direct is an executive search agency that serves the Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology Industries. This boutique firm fills critical staffing needs on a retained, partially retained, or contingency basis. TMAC Direct is the direct-hire recruiting division of The Medical Affairs Company, commonly known as TMAC. Together TMAC and TMAC Direct, provide an unmatched staffing service in the Medical Technology arena, whether the hiring needs are on a permanent placement or outsourcing basis.

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