Vanderbilt University to enhance hiring process with SkillSurvey 

Vice Chancellor for Administration Eric Kopstain (Vanderbilt University)

Vanderbilt University is launching a new tool to speed and improve the reference-checking process during the staff hiring process.

The new tool, SkillSurvey, is an automated reference-checking resource that will allow the university to efficiently conduct an applicant’s reference check in as little as two business days, dropping up to 10 days off the average time spent collecting reference responses. With SkillSurvey, Human Resources’ talent consultants will be able to solicit reference checks from multiple respondents in minutes, including from the individual’s current and/or former managers, co-workers and subordinates. SkillSurvey compiles a detailed report about an individual candidate as well as a comparison report for multiple final candidates, eliminating the time-consuming process that requires hiring managers to track down references by phone or email.

“We are excited to add this new technical capability to help us achieve our goal of hiring the highest-quality staff here at Vanderbilt,” said Eric Kopstain, vice chancellor for administration.

Vanderbilt University Chief Human Resource Officer Barb Carroll (Vanderbilt University)

Hiring officials will partner with their Human Resources talent consultant to evaluate the SkillSurvey detailed reports. Referees’ documented responses are confidential, leading to higher response rates and more candid feedback on the candidate’s skills, knowledge and performance.

“SkillSurvey will help hiring officials verify that a candidate is a great fit for the job and the work unit, based not only on the responses from collective references but based on the candidate’s comparative results in context with other finalists being considered,” Barbara Carroll, associate vice chancellor for administration and chief human resources officer, said. “Hiring managers will no longer need to track down references by phone or email, only to receive generic feedback. Instead, the hiring official will partner with their HR talent consultant to evaluate the detailed reports to help ensure that a candidate is well worth pursuing. It’s a much simpler, faster and more fruitful process than traditional reference-checking efforts.”

For more information, contact the HR Talent team at