Clemenger Group: "Xref’s references are consistent and simple to consume as a hiring manager."

With approximately 1,700 employees, our RPO is always under pressure to perform. Xref frees up their time to focus on searching and placing great talent, while reference checking happens automatically in the background. Rhys Ryan, Managing Director, Porter Novelli Melbourne (part of the Clemenger Group)

Results by the numbers

42%

References completed outside of business hours

32 hrs

Average referee turnaround time

99%

Success rate of references taken with Xref

The Xref solution

Organisational overview

  • Industry: Marketing Services

  • Location(s): Australia & New Zealand

  • Size (number of employees): 1,500+

  • Xref customer since:  2017

  • Introduced Xref because: We needed to improve the speed and consistency of our reference checking

What drove you to change your reference checking process?

Clemenger Group comprises more than 20 marketing services companies across Australia and New Zealand. Our product is our people and their expertise, so talent is at an absolute premium, in a market where the talent pool for some capabilities can be perilously shallow.

Although the Group has a recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) team, not all of the hiring managers within the group are required to use these services to recruit, as they are SMEs that hire within a tight network of expertise. However, our policy is that all our reference checking is handled by the RPO for consistency.

This means three things for our Group. Firstly, we have hiring managers who are experienced professionals and executives, who have relatively little experience in recruiting. They know talent and understand HR, but they do not come from a recruitment background, and so are less experienced in important processes such as reference checking.

Secondly, the RPO, when conducting reference checks, has often had no involvement in the recruitment process – they are simply presented with the preferred candidate for reference checking by a hiring manager who is keen to make a quick hire. This makes it more challenging for the RPO staff to ask informed and insightful questions.

Finally, the war for talent is hot in Australia and New Zealand. Time wasted chasing references, particularly when the talent’s referees are interstate or overseas, can be critical when they are fielding several offers. The Group’s companies cannot afford to lose talent due to delays with reference checks.

Clemenger Group is on the cutting edge of our field, as Australia’s largest marketing services business, so it is important that our candidates see evidence that our business has streamlined, efficient business processes in place.

What was your brief for Xref?

We needed a reference checking process that can turn around references quickly, to ensure we don’t lose talent due to delays in recruitment processes.

In addition, we required our referencing system to be consistent across all our agencies, relieving the pressure from hiring managers to understand the legal and ethical implications of reference checking, and allowing our RPO to benchmark and compare results of reference checks across all hires for the group, from Account Executives to Managing Directors.

What has been the outcome of using Xref?  

The speed of response and processing is the most impressive thing about Xref. Recently, one of our agencies submitted reference requests for a candidate whom they wanted to hire, at around 2:00pm on a Friday. Our RPO initiated an Xref, and one response arrived before the close of business on Friday. The other arrived first thing Monday morning. The candidate received an offer and had agreed to terms by noon on Monday.

The other great outcome for us is that the Xref process does not rely on our hiring managers or our RPO staff to conduct reference checks. As a company with approximately 1,700 employees, our RPO is always under pressure to perform. Xref frees up their time to focus on searching and placing great talent, while reference checking happens automatically in the background.

Xref’s references are consistent and simple to consume as a hiring manager. We receive them back within hours, and the reference can be read and understood - and benchmarked against hundreds of others - in a matter of minutes.

Overall, Xref has taken a huge pain point for our RPO and our hiring managers and turned it into a simple, useful process that adds value and helps us win in the war for talent.

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