Recruiting, Selecting, and Retaining Direct Service Workers to Provide Self-Directed HCBS

Check References

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Always check references!  Ask former employers about work performance.  Ask if they would rehire the DSW.  However, some employers won't share information about employees.  

Review and contact references of DSW applicants. 

  • Ask applicants for references from the applicants' previous employers.  If this is the applicants' first job,  ask for references from teachers, places they may have volunteered, or other people who know them well such as faith leaders.
  • If someone is unable to provide any references, ask them why.  Most of the time, having no references is a red flag.  You should think carefully about hiring this person.
  • Call these references and check on your applicant’s skills and how they did on the job.
  • Ask references about the kind of worker the applicant was. 

Note that some employers will only give dates of employment and whether or not the applicant is available to hire. 

Social media provides another opportunity to learn more about the person you want to hire.  A lot of public drama on someone's social media account is a red flag.

Download the Sample Reference Check Form

Note regarding the Sample Reference Check form: The worksheet uses Adobe Acrobat Reader. Download Adobe Acrobat Reader if you do not already have it. If you are using Adobe Acrobat Reader, you will need to print out your worksheet when you are done with it. You won’t be able to save it. If you have Adobe Acrobat, you will be able to save your work.