Vancouver’s SocialCheck.me is a different kind of reference check

Minna Van (of Network Hub fame) and Robert Park co-founded SocialCheck.me in January after wondering how it was possible that companies still hired people who were poor fits despite the wisdom and experience of good hiring managers. They knew it was frustrating to work with people who boasted strong resumes but poor real-work competence.

Serious development began in February but the company has only just launched after a private beta and “a major pivot in back-end tech.” Noting that the hiring process is “horribly one-sided,” Minna believes their is a sizeable gap that SocialCheck.me can fill. 

Employers try to do everything possible to get the full picture, but employee candidates do everything possible to put only the best foot forward and hide the warts.  All the data in the hiring process is usually validated through reference checks, but checking references still results in false positives due to people being unwilling to say bad things about their colleagues. 

What SCM does is automate an opt-in, anonymous, private, and custom survey to enable efficient and cheap reference checks for employers. Social media authentication is utilized to ensure responders know the candidate while private anonymity creates a “safe haven” for former co-workers who want to be honest.

SMC differentiates from potential competitors like Mixtent and Duedil by creating opt-in, “intimate” survey relationships between hiring managers and job candidates’ personal networks—similar services, in effect, have “absolutely no input from past co-workers” on the crtieria necessary for a critical hiring decision.

Some would argue that the tradition of simply asking the candidates for references is a quicker method, but SocialCheck.me argues this manner contains bias, since the candidate wouldn’t ask anyone for a reference if they didn’t expect a good one—and, by the same token, people who are asked for references feel pressure to write good things about that person. This is an idea with potential, but one that will require deft execution.