3 in 10 employers have caught a fake reference on job application: Survey

Two-thirds of employers say calling a reference has changed their mind about a candidate

Nearly three in 10 (29 per cent) of employers in the United States have caught a fake reference on a candidate’s application, according to a survey by CareerBuilder.

And three in five (62 per cent) said that when they contacted a reference listed on an application, the reference didn’t have good things to say about the candidate, found the survey of 2,500 HR professionals and 4,000 employees in the U.S.

Fifteen per cent of workers reported that they have listed someone as a reference, but didn’t tell that person.

The vast majority of employers (80 per cent) said they do contact references when evaluating potential employees. Sixteen per cent of these employers will contact references even before they call the candidate for a job interview.

Sixty-nine per cent of employers said they have changed their minds about a candidate after speaking with a reference, with 47 per cent reporting they had a less favorable opinion and 23 per cent reporting they had a more favorable opinion. Thirty-one per cent said references haven’t swayed their decisions on a candidate one way or the other.

Seventy per cent of workers reported that they provide three or more references when applying to jobs. Ten per cent said they typically don’t provide any references.

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