Referees' reports are an essential component of the selection process.
Written or oral referee checking is designed to seek employment related information about an applicant from present or past supervisors or other people with a direct personal knowledge of an applicant's work performance. It is preferable that the most recent, direct supervisor is nominated as one of the referees.
Reference checks can help differentiate between applicants with strong claims for the position. They are undertaken to ensure that claims made by an applicant in their written application and at interview are substantiated. They also improve knowledge of an individual's work performance, competence, overall ability and potential.
You can find more information on referee reports in the 'Referee Reports' section of this toolkit and you can also use the Referee Report Form (HR89) to help you frame your questions to the referees.