Use this telephone script when checking employee references to get the information you need.
Hello, my name is (your name), (your title) at (practice name). (Name of applicant) has applied for a (job title) position in our office. He/she has listed you as a reference, and I'd like to verify employment information with you.
Or, if the employee didn't list references, ask to speak with someone who can verify employment information.
Thank you for your time today. I will keep your comments confidential.
Name of reference:
What is your position with the practice?
(Name of applicant) says that he/she worked for your practice from (start date) to (date of departure). Is this correct?
What was his/her position(s) during this time?
He/she states that his/her salary upon departure was (amount). Is this correct?
How many days was he/she absent while employed at your practice?
If references are reluctant to answer, rephrase your question. For example, ask:
Was excessive absenteeism ever a problem with this employee?
Was his/her performance satisfactory?
How did the employee's performance compare with other staff members in similar positions?
Did this employee supervise anyone? If so, how many staff members and what were their titles?
What kind of supervision did the employee receive?
He/she states that his/her reason for leaving your practice was (reason given by applicant). Is this correct?
Would you hire this person again for the same position? For other positions? If not, why?
How well did he/she get along with other employees?
If references are reluctant to answer, rephrase your question. For example, ask:Was getting along with co-workers ever a problem with this employee?
Do you have any additional comments about his/her work or attitude?
Thank you for your assistance.
Handout excerpted from The Art of Veterinary Practice Management by Mark Opperman, CVPM