Your Compliance Edge

Reference Checks

When evaluating prospective candidates for hire, it is vital to substantiate all claims made by applicants to help achieve an ideal fit between the candidate, position, and company. The forms provided in this section are designed to assist employers in conducting effective reference checks that can add valuable information to a candidate's profile.

Special Note: Be sure to obtain written authorization from a candidate prior to conducting any reference checks. As a general rule, information obtained and requested through the pre-employment process should be limited to that which is essential for determining if a person is qualified for the job. Federal law (as well as the law of most states) prohibits discrimination based upon race, sex, religion, color, national origin, age, disability and other factors. Be sure to treat candidates equally and avoid any questions which may be construed as discriminatory. In light of potential liability issues, it is common for a former employer to provide a neutral reference in which the employer merely affirms that the employee worked for the employer during certain dates and held a specific position.  

Authorization to Check a
Candidate’s References

Applicant Authorization for Reference Check

Questions for Checking References
by Telephone

Telephone Reference Checking Form  




Requesting Verification of a
Candidate’s Prior Employment

(with Candidate Authorization)

Employment Verification Request Letter  



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Please NoteThe sample forms and policies featured in this section may be used for general reference only. All sample forms and policies should be modified to meet your company’s individual needs and applicable laws. Federal and state laws do change and, as a result, the featured forms and policies may not comply with current requirements. We strongly recommend consulting an employment law attorney or HR specialist for assistance with customizing any forms, policies, or the sample employee handbook. Any links that have been provided as an additional source of forms or guidelines are also for general information purposes and cannot be guaranteed for accuracy or compliance with any particular law or requirement.