Effective and Personal Management Solutions

Managing Director Insights

Covert Reference Checks


Recruiter Vetting.

Phone Interviews.

Video Interview.

Face To Face Interview.

Second Face to Face Interview (1/2 day).

Fist bumps.


“We love him. We’re going to put an offer together”.

2 days pass …..

“Actually, we are not going to offer him now. One of our managers heard something about him that was not positive. So we are not going to move forward”.

Covert reference checks.

One of the most disruptive and powerful forces in the recruiting world.

Confidential contact of company leadership, discretely says something bad, blows up a perfect candidate’s career.

This happened recently with one of our clients.

The objection is almost impossible to overcome, because the ‘source’ went off the record.

Minds made up.

All information regarding hiring can be helpful.

But the challenge with discrete reference checks, is that they’re only part of the story.

What is the context and what were the circumstances that lead to this light speed 180-degree turn?

What are the specifics regarding the history between these people here?

What has changed since then that makes you think this person cannot perform the position, after a 20 year successful track record with other glowing references?

Has the candidate ‘changed’ since their interaction with said whistleblower? And if so, how? And, why?

On to the next candidate.

It’s the only option forward.

Make it a great day, everyone!

34-70, sunshine.


SCN – Search Consulting Network


Jim Guerrera

Author Info

Jim Guerrera

Jim Guerrera, Managing Director, founded SCN in 2000. Jim is primarily responsible for the development of the leaders at SCN, strategic planning, the hiring and development of company associates, culture leadership, core value leadership, sales le...

Read More

The importance of truly listening, and understanding your wants and needs, cannot be overstated.