Reference checks in different contexts

I recently wrote about the importance of reference checks and how to go about them when evaluating key C-level hires.

A reference check is essentially a way to learn about someone’s experiences working with someone else. Although they’re most commonly used in the evaluation of potential employees, this makes them valuable in pretty much any other context where you’re evaluating working with someone.┬áThis means that, in addition to managers performing reference checks on their potential employees, employees should also perform reference checks on their potential managers.

Other contexts in which I’ve recently conducted reference checks include the evaluation of entrepreneurs we’re looking to back, investors we’re looking to co-invest with, and board members with whom we’re looking to work together. The people involved in a startup are the most important determinants of that startup’s success, so it’s important to take the time to know them well before setting off on a journey together.