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The purpose of checking references is to validate information obtained about the candidate's employment history, skills and experience and to check your assessment of the candidate's suitability for the role.

The University of Otago asks candidates to provide three referees. Ideally, at least two of these referees should be previous employers. One of these referees should have supervised them in their current or most recent employment.

The most appropriate way to approach a referee depends both on the position that you are recruiting for and the referee. You could phone the referee and ask a series of prepared questions, write to the referee and ask them to respond in writing, or ask the referee to complete a written questionnaire. Contact the recruitment team for more information on how to request a reference.

Acting as a referee involves considerable time and effort. Please give each referee a reasonable amount of time to provide a reference, and when the reference is complete, thank the referee for their assistance.

All references should be documented. The references for the successful candidate should be held on the personnel file in HR. References for any other candidates should be stored securely for 12 months before they are confidentially destroyed.

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