Getting and giving references is a pain. When you need them the most, you anxiously wait for a prospective employer, a recruiter or even a temp agency to get them from your former employers. And you hope your former employers remember you and are in a good mood when they are grading your past performance. Thoughts run through your head like "Will s/he remember me and the work I did?"
On the flip side, your former employer may scratch their head and try hard to remember just exactly all the things you did. So, where does that leave you? Not always in the best place. You may have worked your tail off for a supervisor who left that company before you asked them for a reference.
The whole process is prehistoric. Until now.
LA-based recruiters Emily and Natalie Levine have created Workgrades, an online platform designed to revolutionize the reference checking and giving process.
"Checking references remains an extremely outdated process: people playing phone tag to get in touch with previous employers, references are being checked at the end of an interview process rather than the beginning, and each and every time someone leaves a job" they explain, "their references are being contacted over and over again."
The duo created Workgrades to put the reference checking process in the candidate’s hands.
The way it works is simple:
According the Emily and Natalie they've "made it easy for you to reach out to past employers, verify your work history, and rack up those recommendations." All you have to do is fill out the details of a job you’ve had and click send. "Then your former supervisor can verify that information and even add a reference."
No longer will you need to go back to the same employer over and over again. "If you end up applying for a different job, there's no need to go back and bother your old bosses again. You can save your references and share them with whomever you choose, whenever you choose."
They also acknowledge that "candidates with the best and most transparent resumes and references tend to get hired first." And that "every temporary employee deserves to collect references for assignments well done."
They say there is a fast, growing trend among temporaries and freelancers to collect routine evaluations about their work performance. It helps build their resumes and stand out from the crowd.
Even for full time candidates, references are an oft overlooked and neglected part of the hiring process. Applicants use the same three people over and over again and they don't always think through who they are using. But references can make or break you landing the position.
A good reference, like a good contact, is invaluable-- especially if it is coming from a person or a company your prospective employer respects. But for job-hoppers or those who stick around in one position for extended periods of time, it's hard to remember the small details that made you a great employee. "No more repetitive calls about someone who worked for you 10 years ago. No more verifications on the same candidate you met last year," Emily and Natalie say. "You might not remember the guy or gal who temped for you last year, but they remember you and they need your reference."
So Workgrades is beneficial to both sides. "Shouldn’t you be able to give references for a former employee’s work when the work they did is fresh in your mind? Imagine being able to give references once – and being done," Emily and Natalie ask. It also provides reference givers the ability to "take their time and write a reference at their pace, instead of simply getting a call from a prospective employer. Imagine applying for a job with your references and recommendations at your fingertips?"
Talk about a reference upgrade.
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