I think references are somewhat useless because the people we give are obviously going to say good things about us.
I recently went through 2 final interview rounds at two different companies, and one took forever to contact my references before giving me an offer. Meanwhile, the other company gave me an offer after a few hours of my final round; no references were needed. The company that took forever to check my references said that it's because they do their due diligence very carefully, even though they know that the references will say good things about the candidate.
So it got me thinking do people think that a company that contacts their references is better than one that doesn't?