Recruiterkeyboard_arrow_downWhy should I conduct reference checks?Collecting references is generally considered to be the minimum standard for background checking new employees. References are critical for verifying an applicant’s work history and skills, confirming their right to work and understanding how they will add to the culture of your team.I can already get a reference manually—why should I use Zinc?Scaling a business often means doubling or tripling the size of your team in a matter of months. That’s a lot of hiring. When you’ve got already got loads on your plate, collecting references—let alone qualitative feedback from previous employers—can easily drop off your never-ending to-do list. Yet referencing is one of the best ways of deciding who you should invite in for interview, due diligence or find unique onboarding insights . Zinc solves this problem, with a simple, lightweight and automated tool that requests, chases and delivers references back to you, often within the same day. So you have all the insights you need to build an awesome team, without the hassle.When do you recommend requesting a reference?Employers often leave referencing until the final point in the hiring process, but this means missing out on valuable insights that could help you make the right decision. That’s why we recommend collecting references between the first and second interview stages, to influence who you choose to invite back, and enable you to ask more effective questions based on feedback from previous employers. If you still prefer to reference in the final stages of your hiring process, we have found that it is most beneficial to collect information that will inform your onboarding process rather than use the late-stage reference check to verify their skills—your interview process will have given you this information already. For more information on what reference questions to ask at different stages of the hiring process, read this ZINC blog.How many references should I collect?Zinc recommends you collect at least two professional references per applicant, from previous managers and co-workers. This isn’t always possible with teams of different shapes and sizes but we do recommend more than one referee per role in order to verify work information.How do I collect a reference?Collecting a reference with Zinc is easy. There are two ways you can collect a reference, through the Zinc app or through an ATS. Check our integrations page to see if your ATS is listed. We’re working on new integrations all the time so contact us if you would like to request an integration for a specific ATS.Collecting a reference through the Zinc appSign in or create an account using one of the sign-in options such as Google, LinkedIn or email and password. From the questions tab, customise the question sets that will be sent to your referees. Navigate to the recruit tab and select New Request Reference. Fill out the candidate’s contact details, personalise a note to them and then select how many references you want to collect and which question set to use. Once you’re checked all the information is correct click ‘request reference’ and Zinc will do the rest. Watch this video to see the whole process.Collecting a reference via an ATSThere is a little set-up needed before you can use Zinc directly in your ATS. First sign in or create an account from the Zinc website. Contact the Zinc team at firstname.lastname@example.org to request for the Zinc integration to be added to your ATS. In the questions tab on the Zinc app, you can customise your default reference package which will be sent to the candidate’s referees. Once the integration is live, you will be able to add Zinc to the relevant stage in your candidate journey and reference your candidates at the click of a button. As each ATS is different, we have put together videos for our most popular integrations: Greenhouse, Teamtailor and SmartRecruiters.
That’s it—we’ll do the rest! Automatic follow-ups and updates mean you can spend more time interviewing and less time chasing. When your references are ready, we’ll send you a unique shareable link that’s easy to view and share with colleagues. We’ll also notify you if any of the dates or job titles confirmed by the referee don’t match those provided by the candidate. We’ve created a playlist of how-to videos showing you how Zinc works both on its own and through an ATS.Can I share a candidate’s references?A reference is personal data that is owned by the candidate and the referee. Even if you have paid to collect reference information, under GDPR you cannot store this information for longer than 30 days. You have an obligation to delete any reference data after this period. You also have an obligation to ensure that anybody that you’ve shared the reference with also deletes it from their systems. Zinc’s solution eliminates any of these concerns by holding all references on the platform where they can be accessed by the employer. Rather than risk having personal data in your inbox or in documents that is impossible to keep track of, the candidate can choose to retain their references to use for future opportunities.What questions do you ask?Our recruitment experts have designed some default questionnaire templates that includes the ideal balance of competency, culture-fit and date-check questions to provide a comprehensive overview of the candidate’s experience. We’ve carried out tests with employers to ensure the questionnaire is as quick and straightforward as possible for them to complete, taking no longer than 10 minutes. View the questions below:
In what capacity do you know the candidate, and if applicable what did you work on?
How long did the candidate work on the following skills at the company?
Select up to 3 environments you believe the candidate would excel in.
Select up to 3 attributes that best describe the candidate's work ethic.
Did the candidate ever change position in the company, such as a promotion?
Describe a scenario in which the candidate would excel and one that’s not suitable for them.
What would you perceive as the candidate's strengths and weaknesses to be?
How did the candidate get along with their peers, clients and managers?
Still looking for inspiration? You can read the best questions to ask when checking references or try out our reference question generator.Can I add custom questions?You can add and change as many of the open-ended questions as you like (i.e. questions that require a written response). For advice on the best questions to ask and what to avoid, read this Zinc blog. If you want to change the multiple choice questions, get in contact with the Zinc team and we can work with you to create the best questions for your hiring needs.How much does a reference cost?Requesting to see a candidate's reference costs 10 ZINC tokens. Zinc uses an incentive system gifting 5 ZINC tokens to the referee for each completed reference they provide in order to encourage swift responses.I have more questions about referencing - where should I look?Zinc’s complete guide to reference checks is a comprehensive guide that includes information such as what kinds of reference checks there are, potential legal implications of referencing and how to get the most value out of your reference checks. If you need to know anything that is not covered in the guide, feel free to get in contact via email@example.com and we will do our best to help you address your referencing needs.What shall I do when I run out of Zinc tokens?Contact the team via firstname.lastname@example.org or upgrade your plan in the subscriptions tab
Candidatekeyboard_arrow_downWhy are work references important?References shared early on in the hiring process can speed up the journey, particularly when you have mutual connections or references from a credible figure. Proactively sharing references can give you an advantage over other candidates. Most importantly, when information is collected with Zinc, you can use it over and over throughout the rest of your career, since you can prove the conditions it was collected under and who it was provided by.What is a referee?A referee is someone that provides a reference.What should I do when someone requests a reference from me via Zinc?Consider referees that will carry both professional weight and detailed insight into your work. The more senior and recent the referee, the better. For more information on who is best to ask for a reference, read Zinc’s Complete guide to reference checks. Whomever you choose to ask, we do recommend you contact the referee and let them know they will receive a reference request email and text from Zinc.Adding additional refereesWe find from time to time that additional referees need to be added. In the case that someone is on holiday or has left an organisation, you can add as many additional referees you like for free. Simply go back and click the link in your original reference request email. Then you can submit more referees or the same referees with new details by visiting their original referee submission page. Here's a demonstration video.Who can see my references?The person who requested the reference can see the information. The data will show up on your profile and you have control over whether this information is public or private. This process enables you to own and prove the validity of this information throughout the rest of your career.Can I delete a reference?Once a reference has been collected, it will be displayed on your profile. You can set your profile or individual references to private so that nobody can see it. If you wish for your data to be deleted permanently please email: email@example.com.I can already get a reference—why should I use Zinc?For the first time, you will have absolute ownership and control of your work reputation and identity. Choose how, when or if this information is shared with recruiters and companies. Once you have a verified profile with Zinc, you will save time collecting and verifying this information throughout your career.How many references should I have on my profile?Zinc recommends that you collect at least two professional references from at least two different roles. This will give your profile some weight and potential employers will be able to evaluate your experience over multiple jobs. You can collect three references for free every month.Where is my data stored?Your data is stored in a secure database. Zinc provides a platform for users to store their work data that isn’t controlled by a single entity. The data can only be accessed by the account holder.
Referenceskeyboard_arrow_downWhat is a reference?A reference is a review from a person who has worked with you in the past or has an insight into your work.What kind of references exist?There are three popular types of references: personal, professional and backchannel references. Personal references are informal references that can be provided by anyone that knows you. They are typically not accepted as confirmation of your work history or your work ability. Professional references are typically provided by; ex-managers, colleagues or HR professionals and they are accepted by large organisations for confirmation of your previous work. While professional references were originally used to gather both factual and more qualitative insights into candidate experience, many employers now only use them to confirm a candidate’s basic employment history and work dates - something we at Zinc are on a mission to change. Backchannel references are a process of a company trying to reach former colleagues without consent.For more information about references, take a look at Zinc’s complete guide to reference checksWhat is the traditional reference process?Traditionally, a recruiter or prospective employer will ask an applicant for the contact details of their referees (usually ex-colleagues) once they have formally been offered a role. The company will then contact the referee to confirm their work history and find out more about their previous work. However, getting hold of the right person can often be time-consuming, involving numerous follow up emails and phone calls. Once received, reference information is typically not shared with the candidate and is frequently lost or recorded internally at the company. Often, if third-party recruiters or consultants collect this information, they will subsequently use it for their own business gain. Zinc is on a mission to change how employers source and utilise references, so that they provide more qualitative insights earlier in the recruitment journey. We empower candidates to own and control their reference data in their own verified profile. Using Zinc, the process is automated, saving recruiters time contacting and chasing up previous employers.Who owns a reference?UK employment laws state that candidates have a right to own their references. A referee and the applicant hold joint ownership over the information. Sadly in most cases the company or recruiter requesting the information holds on to this information, which is illegal. This is why Zinc empowers candidates to own and control their reference data in their Zinc profile.What is the Zinc reference process?A company or recruiter initiates a reference request by submitting an applicants name and email into the Zinc platform. The applicant receives an email and submits their chosen referees details into the platform which sends emails and text notifications to the referees provided. The referee will be asked to complete a form online and authenticate with LinkedIn. The references will appear on the recruiters dashboard and the candidate is able to keep and securely store the references afterwards.How long does it take to collect a reference?We aim to turn a reference around in 48 hours from the candidates’ submission of referee contact details. Yet, as we rely on humans completing the process, we can provide no guarantee on time frames. The process could take up to 28 days.
Subscription planskeyboard_arrow_downWhat are ZINC tokens?ZINC tokens are used to pay for reference checks within the Zinc platform. Each subscription plan comes with a monthly token allowance which is added on the first day of each month. Any unused tokens will expire at the end of each month.When will I be billed?Subscription plans are billed on the first day of each month. When you start a new subscription you'll be billed immediately pro-rata for the days remaining in the month. If you upgrade to a new subscription plan, changes will be reflected in your next bill.How I can cancel my subscription?You can cancel your subscription by visiting the subscriptions tab within the account page. If you cancel before the start of the next month your subscription will end at the end of the month. Remaining tokens will expire on the first of the next month.Who can I contact with billing enquiries?You can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.orgDoes Zinc offer refunds?We are unable to provide a refund if we’re unable to get a reference. You can send an email to email@example.com for more information.
Manage my profilekeyboard_arrow_downHow can I make my profile private?You can easily make your profile private by switching the privacy button in the top right hand corner of your profile.Who can see my account?When your account is switched to private, only you can view your profile. When it’s switched to public the referee, recruiter and anyone you share your profile link with can view your profile.What information is shown from my account?Only the information you set to public will be visible to anyone looking at your profile.What is the green hexagon icon on reference and work proof boxes?Click on the button to view the social platform (currently LinkedIn or GitHub) authenticated with this profile.What is the green hexagon icon on references?This shows your reference or proof is verified. Click on the button to view the social platform (currently LinkedIn or GitHub) authenticated with this profile.What is the square green icon on the reference and work proof boxes?This is a link to the transaction record, showing which accounts exchanged data and when. This information is stored on the Ethereum blockchain. This is a trusted, open platform which cannot be altered. It handles the exchange of data on Zinc to prove its authenticity.
Manage my accountkeyboard_arrow_downHow can I manage my account?Click on your name at the bottom left of the screen to visit your account page. Here you can view and edit your account details.Where is my identity contract?If you're a decentralised user you'll find a link to your identity contract under the identity contract heading.Where is my ENS Subdomain?If you're a decentralised user (you signed in with MetaMask or Blockstack) you'll find a section that displays your chosen username which doubles as your ENS subdomain. You can manage this subdomain with the ENS manager: https://manager.ens.domains/Who can find my account?There is no discoverability functionality on the platform so only those you share your profile link with can discover your account.
ZINC Tokenkeyboard_arrow_downWhat is a Zinc token?ZINC token is an ERC20 token, compatible with all ERC20 wallets.How are ZINC tokens used within the platform?ZINC tokens can be used to pay for the platform. They are also used to incentivise honest and qualitative references.How can I earn tokens within the platformReferees are rewarded with 5 ZINC tokens for each qualitative reference provided. Tokens can be accumulated to pay for the Zinc platform or withdrawn. Referees can only withdraw tokens if they have provided at least three references. Candidates can only withdraw tokens if they have received three verified references.
About Zinckeyboard_arrow_downWhen and why was the company established?Zinc was conceived in 2015, by a team of progressive technologists and recruiters, frustrated by the time consuming, inefficient and costly processes used to collect references. We saw an opportunity to use blockchain technology to bring credibility and value back to referencing. Zinc was created to be a cost-cutting and time-saving referencing platform.Who are the people behind Zinc?You can read more about the team on the Zinc about page.Does Zinc have a mobile app?Yes, you can interact with Zinc on both desktop and mobile; you don’t need to download anything to use Zinc.