THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF CHECKING REFERENCES IS CHECKING THEM
It is totally common today for an HR rep to ask a potential hire for references during the hiring process. That HR rep then looks over the references, googles one of the addresses, and calls it “checking their references.” This is an extremely ineffective way to hire an employee and is an equally ineffective way to hire a contractor.
If you have someone coming to your building to work around your employees, you need to trust them. One of the most effective ways to build trust is to obtain references from the contractor and contact them. Look at their past jobs, talk to their past contacts, and see what they have to say.
Checking References Helps Eliminate Guesswork
Rather than wondering for 3 months if the references provided by a contractor are good, take 30 minutes and call each of them! This is the surest way to find out if the references are good or not. Now, in today’s litigation-invested America, there is one major tip you need to keep in mind.
People May Not Tell You Exactly What They are Thinking
People may be afraid of bringing a lawsuit upon themselves by giving a negative review of someone. For this reason, you aren’t necessarily looking for someone to say “the contractor is a liar and a thief” because it likely won’t happen. Instead, you are looking for pauses, hesitation, or lack of enthusiasm. Anything that doesn’t scream “I loved this contractor” is a red flag. If you find a pattern of red flags during your reference checking, let the contractor go.
Don’t Forget to Check the Portfolio
Another key background check is the contractors past work. If they have done work in your area, ask that building owner for permission to get up on their roof and check it out. See what the job looks like and if you’d be happy to have that type of work done on your roof. If you wouldn’t, let the contractor go.
All contractors are out to make money; some are out to make money during the next job, while some are out to make money during the next decade. A contractor who is in it for the long haul will have strong references and a portfolio they love to show off. If the contractor is hesitant to provide references or addresses of past jobs, you should be hesitant to hire them.