Reference checks are important I guess there is no questeion about that.
But at what stage should we conduct these checks. How effective will we be if we conduct these checks right at the initial stages before the first round interviews.
Probably we can ask the candidate to refer two of his/her colleagues as referees, As no candidate is likely to refer his boss at such an early stage. Or as till sometime back it was mandatory to include the name of the referees in their resumes.
Probably in certain positions proper references become critical – for instance in secretarial positions and perhaps in Finance.
A discussion on Linkedin threw up some very interesting angles :
added on 22/2/12
Recently one of our candidates modified his resume to hide a gap of 3 months in his career. He cleared the interview and was offered – contingent on a positive reference check.
The client didnt take kindly to this and the candidate found himself job less as he had already resigned from his current firm.