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How Netflix does reference checks in 3 steps

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Netflix is legendary for its high performance culture.

An important aspect of this is recruiting great fits.

To do this, Reid Hastings explained on the Tim Ferriss podcast how he does referee checks.

He does what he calls ‘cold sourcing’ of references. This means he finds his own references, rather than relying on those the candidate provides (given candidates want to pick people who will gush about them).

Here’s his process:

  1. He starts on LinkedIn and looks for mutual connections who could provide references
  2. He picks people who’re closer to him or someone he knows, rather than the candidate (as opposed to – for example – the candidate’s brother, who’s unlikely to provide the required depth of reference)
  3. He’ll then do a short video call, as he believes people are more honest on video calls, where he can ask a few questions without people feeling like they’re being recorded

Why not try this on your next recruitment?

Referee checks are an important element of good recruitment. But they’re not one of the top three predictors of on the job performance.

To find out what those are, download our Impact Society Guide to Recruitment: 40 Tips to Find Your Next Superstar Recruit.

Impact Society
Guide to Recruitment


New. This guide helps you design and run a better recruitment process to find an amazing fit for your next hire.