Back to Blog

Understanding Xref: Six Key Questions Answered


For us, the period during which we’re first building our presence in a market is one of the most exciting – we have the opportunity to explain the Xref solution from scratch and witness the lightbulb moment for our new customers. Today, we’re growing our portfolio in New Zealand and were lucky enough to sponsor, exhibit and present at the recent HR Leaders’ Summit in Auckland.

We spoke to a number of HR professionals, some familiar faces and some that were new to us, and over the course of the day, we answered many interesting questions about who we are and what we do. By way of a summary for all those attending (and, indeed, any others that are interested!) we’ve compiled a list of our top six questions and answers from the summit.

How does Xref work when most organisations are 30 percent employees and 70 percent contractors?

The challenges and opportunities of the changing workforce are widely discussed in the HR industry but it’s fair to say that one process which should always remain the same, regardless of the people hired, is referencing. Today, many businesses hire a high volume of contractors, which can often lead to corner cutting and dismissal of the referencing process, due to its traditionally time-consuming nature. 

However, contractors can place more risk on a business due to company security, IP, copyright, and BYOD. As such, having a reliable understanding of their background and previous performance is even more critical. Introducing an automated and streamlined referencing solution, such as Xref, can remove the perceived burden of a critical hiring process, whether for permanent staff or higher volume contractors.

As a recruiter, I was told that references needed to be verbal. I never liked this and prefer the automated methodology. Where did this “verbal” rule come from?

Written references submitted with an applicant’s resume have long been considered unreliable, they do not necessarily relate to the advertised position and might not provide sufficient or timely insight into how well the applicant performs specific duties relevant to the role. Verbal references have been valued for being role specific and current. However, the traditional approach adopted for collecting verbal feedback can be inefficient, inconsistent and open to candidate fraud and employment discrimination. 

A fully automated referencing process allows the employer to formulate role-specific templates, quickly and easily, and collect more than 60 percent more data than they would traditionally, over the phone.

In a world beyond office desks and traditional business hours, will Xref be able to continue to detect the veracity of references? Are you adapting your systems for “life 3.0”?

The flexibility and convenience of the Xref interface has been critical to our success – 98 percent of all reference requests conducted via the Xref platform are completed, and 45 percent are delivered outside of traditional working hours. Xref adds significant value for work- life 3.0, allowing employers, candidates and referees the flexibility and adaptability for the next generation of workplace management.

Are references just a governance tool for audit purposes these days?

Reference checking is the only way we can be sure candidates are genuine and will live up to the claims they make in their resume and during their interviews. It’s the only way to generate an independent assessment of a candidate’s strengths and weaknesses. And perhaps most importantly, it’s the only way we can get the detailed, third-party perspective on a candidate’s personality that will help us manage and retain them. Reference checking should not be a box-ticking exercise but should be used to deliver the valuable insight that determines a candidate’s long-term suitability for the role and potential value for the business.  

How beneficial are references? Are they always a true reflection of a person?

Reference checking offers the employer valuable opinions and insight into the candidate's professional skills, traits and personality, as well as the opportunity to identify capability alignment with specific job criteria. Although references are objective, they clearly verify or invalidate work experience and offer views beyond our own biased opinions as the recruiter. Of course, we can never 100 percent guarantee the validity of the comments made by a referee but automated solutions at least offer the advantage of monitoring for any red flags that might implicate fraudulent behaviour – something that is simply not possible when conducting references by phone.

Every trip we make out to New Zealand is always a memorable one. We had some insightful meetings throughout the week, attended 2 great events and are already planning our next trip out to meet with new customers across the country. New Zealand is excited about HR tech innovation and so are we here at Xref. Until next time...

Discover how Xref can revolutionise referencing for your business

Speak with us


  • Get HR & Tech insights
  • Be the first to know about Xref events
  • Free downloadable content

Thank you for subscribing! Stay tuned for the next edition (we publish about once a month).


What is Xref?

Xref is a secure, mobile-friendly reference checking platform that significantly reduces time-to-hire and helps protect against candidate fraud.

Sign up for a demo