Reference Check: A Lost Art

Melanie Lockwood Herman of Nonprofit Risk Management Center writes:

“With financial resources in scarce supply, filling key openings with competent and trustworthy staff is a must. Yet experienced nonprofit leaders often bemoan the challenging and often protracted process of finding someone who is a “perfect fit.” The process of recruiting and screening applicants is more challenging when we look for perfect applicants who bring track records of raising huge sums and meeting every roadblock and challenge with unrelenting optimism.

True, there are more people looking for work these days than in the recent past and high speed Internet connections, downloadable applications, virtual job boards and email shorten the time from the posting of an announcement to receipt of the first resume. But the prevalence of technology in the process does little to transform the nature of the process. Finding the best match for a demanding position in a nonprofit is not a science. Choosing wisely from a large pool of applicants is an art. And an often ignored art form within the discipline of staff screening is reference checking.”

Read more here.

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