Reference checks

Checking references is an important step in the recruitment process. The purpose of a reference check is to obtain information about a candidate’s behavior and work performance with prior employers that could be critical to a hiring manager’s decision.

Skill survey

UCOP has contracted with SkillSurvey to conduct reference checks for job applicants. SkillSurvey, a Bay Area company founded in 2002, provides on-line applicant reference checking surveys to collect feedback on behaviors and skills that correlate to success in a given job type. SkillSurvey helps hiring managers obtain quality hires in an effective and efficient manner, and provides a consistent and compliant process for all applicants. This service is currently used by multiple UC locations.

At OP, Local HR works with hiring managers at the beginning of a recruitment to confirm the reference check process. With SkillSurvey, this involves identifying the reference survey that matches the job being filled. SkillSurvey’s team of expert industrial and organizational psychologists have developed over 300 surveys across 23 different job families and over 2,000 job titles. Each survey contains behaviorally-based questions which allow a hiring manager to obtain relevant job-related information around behaviors critical to a new hire’s success on the job.

The Skill Survey job library includes surveys that correlate to UCOP job families in Finance, Accounting, IT, Operations and Academic Personnel. Hiring managers can review surveys by job family with their Local HR Representative and choose the best fit for their job.

How the process works

Final candidates are notified by email when the reference check process begins. This typically happens after face-to-face interviews are complete. Candidates enter their references online directly into the SkillSurvey tool, and an email notification is sent to each reference requesting their anonymous feedback. The references complete the survey online.

Because the references are assured their input is not personally identifiable, they tend to be more forthcoming and have a high response rate.  When at least three references are complete, HR has access to a summary report of the results, and consults with the hiring manager on the outcome. 

For more information, see the Reference Check FAQ (pdf).