How to Perform a Reference Search on LinkedIn
One of the benefits of LinkedIn is that you can search for someone who might have worked with someone you’re researching. It's commonly referred to as a reference search. LinkedIn has created the reference search to give you a better window into the person or company. All you need is the company name and the range of years someone has worked there, and LinkedIn searches your network and shows you the people who match that search and how closely they’re connected to you.
Perhaps you’re about to hire someone but would like to speak with someone else who knows your potential candidate because they worked together. Say you’re deciding to hire a consultant for a project but want to contact someone who has hired this consultant in the past to get a better idea of his work quality. Or maybe you’re about to enter a business deal and want some information from someone who knows your potential new partner.
Click the Advanced link at the top right of the LinkedIn home page.
You’re taken to the Advanced People Search page.
Click the Reference Search tab along the top of the page.
The Reference Search tab lets you search for potential references.
Enter the name of the company and a date range.
For example, suppose you have a job candidate who claims to have worked for Top Cow Productions from 2000 to 2002. You would enter that company name and date range into the text boxes provided.
You can enter more than one company and date range. That will garner you a list of potential references who worked at any of the companies on your search.
Click the Search button.
If you have the basic account, you see a Summary page. This gives you an idea of how many potential connections exist and how many are connected to your immediate network. If you have a Premium account, you would see a list of people (like in a name or job title search) who worked at the designated company in that timeframe, and you’d have the ability to contact them.