Businesses say they want new employees to share the company's commitment to customers. David Blumenthal, president and CEO of Flash Creative Management, a business technology consulting firm, in Hackensack, N.J., wonders just how successful those companies can be unless job applicants interview with customers as part of the hiring process. At Blumenthal's office, "Every person hired must check three company references--usually customers. When an applicant talks with our customers, what we mean by strong commitment to customers becomes real. When you join this company, you do whatever it takes to make the customer happy." Blumenthal offers other reasons for adopting the reverse reference checks.

  • Prospects should know the types of clients they will be working with if they accept a position at your company. Does the candidate feel comfortable with your customer's corporate culture?
  • Reverse reference checks give you the opportunity to learn more about the candidate. Follow up with your references to solicit their opinions. Did the applicant ask intelligent questions? Is this candidate acceptable to your customers? Were the candidate's strengths a good match with their needs?
  • When you ask your customers for their opinions, it sends a clear message: They are important. You value their input.
  • The reverse reference check assignment tests the applicant's interest in the position. If a candidate doesn't bother to contact references, he or she is not serious about the job.

Copyright 1997 G+J USA Publishing