Human Resources

Obtaining and verifying references, a guidance note for Line Managers

References are obtained in accordance with the Recruitment policy.

References for Academic and senior Professional & Support posts are requested via a template email to the referee asking them to indicate the applicant’s suitability for the role, plus providing details of their current salary and attendance record. 

For all other posts at Grades 2 to 6, a cover letter and questionnaire will be emailed to the referee. The questionnaire seeks confirmation of the applicant’s previous employment, their suitability for the role (with due reference to the provided job description) plus their comments on specific parameters.

When references are returned to Human Resources prior to the interview date they will be included in the panel papers. References obtained after the interview will be forwarded to the Line Manager for verification against the following criteria:

  • the references given must be signed, preferably on letter headed paper or have the company’s stamp; if the reference is provided by email then the Line Manager must be satisfied that the email is genuine.

  • the references are from the referees as stated in the job application

  • the dates of his/her employment match their job application

  • the prospective employee's, salary, job title and key duties match their job application

  • the reason for leaving is not a cause for concern I.e. he/she was not under investigation for disciplinary, performance related issues or was dismissed.

  • their sickness/attendance records are satisfactory

Upon receipt of the reference, if any of the above points are unclear or need further investigation; appropriate action will be taken to obtain more information from the referee by Human Resources. If the content of the reference raises any specific cause for concern, the relevant HR Advisor should be notified immediately.

Once both references have been received, and are deemed satisfactory, in accordance with the above criteria, the original copy of each reference will be placed on the new staff members personal file.

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The HR team is based on the first floor of Egmont House
Postal address: Human Resources, Birkbeck, University of London, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HX