Checking References

Reference checks are an integral part of a successful recruiting and selection process by allowing recruiters and hiring managers to gain insight into a candidate's previous professional performance as well as assess their potential impact to the organization.

At Texas A&M University we use Xref to obtain references.

Xref Online Reference Checking Service

Xref provides a faster, smarter, and safer method to check references, significantly reducing the time-to-hire and increasing the quality of hiring decisions while preventing fraud. Learn more on the Xref website.

Getting Access to Xref

HR Liaisons and Hiring Managers can request access to Xref by completing the HR Liaison Designation Statement of Responsibility Form and returning it to the HR Liaison Administration. Please make sure you indicate the name of your department, title, and email.

What to Expect

Once the account is created, users will receive an email from Xref with a link to reset the password. It may take 24–48 hours to process your request, depending on volume. For questions, please email jobs@tamu.edu with Xref in the subject line.

The Telephone Reference Contact form may be used to conduct reference checks for job candidates in the event that there are issues with Xref or as you wait for your account to be created.

How Does it Work?

To initiate a reference check requires just the candidate's name, email address and phone number. Xref does the rest. Results can start coming back in just a few hours.

Download instructions:

Tracking Unusual Activity

For your peace of mind, Xref monitors for potentially suspicious activity during a reference check and will instantly raise an alert if anything is detected. To learn more about what this means and what you need to do if you are notified that suspicious activity might have been detected, login into the Xref platform, visit the Help and Training section, and read the information under the tiles labeled “Unusual Activity” and “Fraud Algorithm”.

Training

Using Xref is very easy, and there are plenty of tutorials on the Xref website. Once your account is created you will have access to a wide range of materials and videos under the Help and Training tab. For large groups, special training is available upon request. To schedule, please contact us at jobs@tamu.edu, with Xref Training in the subject line. 

Quick Links and Tips

  • Log in into Xref: Bookmark this link, as you will visit it frequently.
  • Use this Sample Message to let your candidates know that they will get an email from Xref to provide references. Sample message.
  • You may check references on your top candidates to better inform your selection processes.
  • Use the Secure Server to send the Xref reports to the recruiting team.

Frequently Asked Questions

The Division of Human Resources and Organizational Effectiveness (HROE) conducted a pilot in which we reviewed and tested several vendors. Our pilot users, including our HR Advisory Board agreed that Xref offers the product that better meets our needs, significantly increasing efficiency and effectiveness in the following areas:

Cost
In a study conducted by HROE, we learned that it takes about 120 minutes of labor over a span of 2-5 days to complete the reference checking process for one candidate. The annual estimated labor cost to conduct reference checks ranges from $100,000 to $150,000. Using Xref reduces this cost by 75%.
Time
Most reference checks take an average of 2–3 days to complete, some taking much longer depending on how long it takes to connect with the references. On average, Xref completed the reference checking process under 26 hours.
Consistency
The study identified that the process to check references across the institution is inconsistent. Using Xref allows us to provide a consistent, effective, and efficient process that highly increases the quality of the candidate experience.
Quality
Our pilot participants overwhelmingly agreed that the quality of the feedback received using Xref increased, as the reports are more thorough, easy to read, provide benchmarks and a holistic review of the candidate's prior work performance.
Fraud Prevention
The Xref fraud algorithm is one of the most critical features of the solution. Xref's unique multi-touch fraud algorithm works behind the scenes to monitor suspicious activity, tracking:
  • Candidate and reference IP address
  • The device and browser used
  • The date and time Xref was accessed

Xref is available to all colleges, divisions and departments of Texas A&M University who receive Human Resources support from the Division of Human Resources and Organizational Effectiveness (HROE). 

If you are an HR Liaison or a Hiring Manager, complete the HR Liaison Designation Statement of Responsibility Form and return to the HR Liaison Administration. Please make sure you indicate the name of your department, title, and email.

Once the account is created, users will receive an email from Xref with a link to reset the password. It may take 24–48 hours hours to process your request, depending on volume. For questions, please email jobs@tamu.edu with Xref in the subject line.

No additional training is required to use Xref. Once an account is created, Xref offers a wide range of tutorials. If departments need to give access to Xref to multiple users, training sessions can be scheduled upon request. Please email jobs@tamu.edu with Xref Training in the subject line.

The candidate's name, email address and phone number are all that you need to get started. Just select the appropriate questionnaire and click send. Initiating a reference check takes less than 60 seconds.

Once you log into Xref:
  • Decide which questionnaire you want to use.
  • Once the questionnaire is selected, the Custom Settings are available for you to complete.
    • The minimum references are set to 3. You can require more, but not less than three.
    • Enter the Requisition Number and the Job Title in the Role / Department / Internal Ref box. This is for internal references only, and it will not be shown to the candidate or references.
    • The Notes to Candidates and References are already filled in. You may edit the References’ Note to include the job title for the position you are trying to fill.
  • Enter the Candidate’s Name, Email, and Phone Number.
    • If you want to check references for multiple candidates, you can click on Add to List, and you will be prompted to enter the information for other candidates. You can request references for up to five candidates at a time.
  • Once you have entered all the information, click on Send Request.

Departments have access to two main questionnaires:

  1. TAMU – General Reference
  2. TAMU – Managers General Reference Check

These questionnaires include the questions that are in the Telephone Reference Contact form plus additional questions that measure our core values, competencies, and prior work performance.

Xrefs offers its users the ability to create questionnaires using the Template Builder. You may create a questionnaire, but the Xref administrators are the only ones with the ability to add these questionnaires to the application. New questionnaires will be available in the near future. If you have very specific needs and need to develop a questionnaire, please contact jobs@tamu.edu with Xref Questionnaires in the subject line.

Xrefs offers multiple resources to assist users. Log in to Xref and visit the Help and Training section to learn more about how to interpret results and more.

You may use the Telephone Reference Contact form to check references, but we strongly encourage you to initiate the contact using Xref. You will be able to contact the references for more information after the Xref reports are completed.

Yes. Once you have received the Xref reports, please upload them to the Secure Server with the rest of the Recruiting process documents.

You may add the score to the matrix if you wish. You may use the sentiment score or any other metric that you used to determine the value of the reference received. The reference checking score is not required to proceed with the hiring process.

Email jobs@tamu.edu with Xref in the subject line.