The Importance of a Good Referee


As part of our due diligence, we here at BLR conduct reference checks at the initial registration stage for all new candidates. We are a boutique agency and as such, only work with select clients. To ensure we are working with and providing the best to both clients and candidates, we take the time to find out as much as we can from and about our candidates.


Recently, I had to terminate a reference check mid phone call, due to the disparaging information they were providing. It immediately became clear that I would not be able to extract any positive information for this particular employee.


As an integral agency, we won’t “shop around” to get a false read on any candidate. It’s so very important the referee provided is someone who both knows you and can speak honestly about you.


Someone completing a reference, whether it be a potential employer or a recruiter, needs to establish type of work you did and substantiate its relevance for the role you’re applying for, as well as thing like:


- the quality of your work,

- your attitude towards your job,

- your teamwork,

- your communication skills,

- your ability to work under pressure,

- how you are different to other employees, and

- specific examples of your performance.


When you are nominating someone to be a referee, you need to ensure it someone who fits the bill.


  • Make sure you’re providing someone that will sing your praises

  • Needs to be from most recent employer (you can have someone from a previous place of employment as your second or third referee but in most cases, it’s a requirement to have one from your most-recent role)

  • Needs to have been a line manager or supervisor and knows your job and how you performed it

  • Needs to have worked with you for a substantial period of time

  • Make sure you have their approval for us to contact them and are prepared to receive the call


What could happen if you give a positive reference when an employee doesn’t really deserve it?


Some companies do not allow existing staff to provide references because, in the event that the employee is appointed and does not work out (or God forbid, does something horrific and/or possibly litigious) the referee who provided the information that contributed to the appointment of the candidate, is held accountable. It can also lead to monetary loss for the new employer (onboarding, IT systems, recruitment fees, terminations, etc.) New employers and ex-employees can also pursue legal action if a reference causes a financial loss.


Thinking about changing roles?


We understand just how stressful this can be and how important it is to ensure you only move for the RIGHT role. After all, it's not 'just a job' but YOUR career!


We are here to guide you all the way through from start to finish. At Boutique Legal Recruitment, we make your life and the whole process easier.


We are open, honest, passionate, personable and breathe integrity in all that we do. After all, these are the foundations we have built our successful business upon.


We would love to partner with you and help find your DREAM role so look forward to hearing from you.


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In keeping with BLR’s commitment to respect, we acknowledge the Turrbal and Yuggera people as the traditional owners and custodians that the land we are located on, and of the Brisbane region, and recognise that this land has always been under their custodianship. We pay our respect to Elders past and present and to emerging community leaders.

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