This is your forecast: organizations are lean, succession planning is no longer easily implemented, retention is critical, and replacement must be fast. Taking more than 48 hours to conduct a reference is unacceptable in the current climate. So why is this happening? Why aren’t you receiving completed references within 48 hours? This is happening because you work with an organization that is volume-focused, sales-focused, and one that is not working evenings and weekends. An organization that is not fully committed to meeting your needs.
Ask yourself: are you working with a true partner or an overloaded system? Your reference checking partner needs to be dedicated and available 24/7. That partner, whether it is a team or individual, needs to clearly demonstrate that their priority is to service your requests. Where you are concerned with employee retention, your partner should be concerned with retaining your business. This partner should be consistently improving their service delivery to meet your needs. A true partner provides more than just a service. Expect to be impressed, not frustrated, with the results. Accept only 48-hour turnaround times.
A candidate motivates their referee to respond. The referee has agreed to provide that candidate with a reference. Unless the referee is out of town, or not available by phone, the reference interview should be conducted within 48 hours. If for any reason the referee is not responding, it is the revisiting of the candidate that is required to remind the referee of their commitment to provide the reference.
Are you receiving a 48-hour turnaround time on references? Does the problem lie with either a candidate who cannot motivate their referee or the service process you are currently using? In 2014, you deserve a service that will meet and exceed the needs of your business.