Do you know what your references will say? True quotes from reference checks

Every time I write an article about reference checking I get a comment like this one: “This article is a waste. Nobody gives bad references – they are too afraid of being sued.”

While it’s true that some people won’t give out references, many, many will.Allison & Taylor, a company which specializes in reference checking, helpfully provided me with some real life responses to reference checks.

to keep reading click here: Do you know what your references will day? True quotes from reference checkers

Related Posts

9 thoughts on “Do you know what your references will say? True quotes from reference checks

  1. I guess you cannot control what your references will say, but I want to believe that we can control whom we put down as our reference. Why would I recommend someone as a reference if I got fired? Right? 🙂 Loved some of the quotes.

    1. Some people? Not so bright.

      Some recruiters will track down people even if you don’t list them.

    2. Some people may feel that they have to name their most recent former managers. Also, some interviewers call former companies even if no one from that company was named (they don;t stick to the list.)

  2. You can control who you put down. You can’t control who they call. And you certainly can’t control what they say.

    I had a reference I used _once_. Apparently, he told the hiring manager that I “needed direction”. Goodbye job prospect. And goodbye reference.

    1. A bad reference can really stink. And sometimes people who you think will give you a great reference will just not. Which stinks.

  3. I am a retired Human Resources person. I was always able to check references on anyone I hired. I called the ones on the resume. But I also called other people in the the organization to see what they knew about a candidate. I knew that the HR person would only verify dates. However, if you probe enough or ask specific kinds of questions you can always get the scoop. Also people don’t always check with the people they list as references to find out what they are going to say. Very often these people will give a bad reference. Especially if you ask them specific questions about the persons skills or behaviors. As in “Did you notice if Mary had trouble working with other people in her group.” The reference will say “oh yes. But she had very good skills.” Enough said.

  4. As someone NOT in HR, I always hate reference checking – being the one reference checked, and then reference checking a potential hire. Whether or not you are actually going to call the references, I think it is very telling of the employee based off if he/she actually gives management references, or just friends from his/her last job. I never call other people in a company because well, who knows? Maybe you’re speaking to that one coworker of your potential hire who really had a personality clash.

  5. Is it me, or does HR look only for the bad about a future employee? Are you going to find someone who will speak bad about ANY employee? Yes, you probably can find someone, even if that person is just spilling the wine of sour grapes (is that vinegar?)? The question becomes, how do you know which reference to put the weight on? I guarantee that you could find a bad reference about EVERY employee you would hire. But you could also generally find several good ones. Where’s the balance?

    1. As an HR professional, I hope to get good references on applicants. If I can’t get good references, I can’t hire that applicant, which means I have to take even more time to fill that position. Trust me when I say, I don’t want to do that! However, reference checking is a form of risk management. The potential risk runs the whole spectrum from simply someone who doesn’t actually have the skills to do the job (which means you have to do all the work to fill the position again) all the way to someone who could be a danger to others, in which someone gets hurt or worse and you have to deal with those consequences.

      It’s a necessity, and it’s difficult. The law gives employers a certain amount of idemnity in giving references, as long as the informaiton is truthful. Unfortunately, many employers either don’t understand that, or don’t want to take that risk, and so only give name, rank and dates of employment.

Comments are closed.