Netflix CEO Reed Hastings says companies underestimate importance of reference checks when hiring

'You've got to recognise... that people are inconsistent with their past'

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The Independent Online

The founder and CEO of Netflix has revealed what he believes is the most important step in the hiring process.

Reed Hastings was speaking about how he established his video streaming company at a workshop with Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers partner John Doerr earlier this month.

Asked about the hiring process at Netflix, he said his company’s hiring managers rely heavily on reference checks: an element of the hiring process he found to be underutilised.

"Now that I’ve hired enough people my radar is much better," he said.

"People can buffalo [trick] you in four or six hours. Don’t pay too much attention to the interview: you really go deep on the blind references. You've got to recognise in references that people are inconsistent with their past. You have to work the network to get close, to find ways of connecting with people."

Watch the full interview below

Mr Hastings added that he tends to Skype references for prospective employees because they have "a much harder time lying to me" on video compared to a phone call.

"I'm amazed when I know of people who have worked at Netflix or others and people hire them and they didn't even try to make a call," he said. 

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