I’m Sabotaging My Employees’ Job Searches Through LinkedIn Connections

Dear Evil HR Lady,

I have several recommendations from co-workers listed on my LinkedIn profile. As I’m currently shopping my resume, I’m assuming that they are being contacted by recruiters to verify employment and dig for any issues. It would explain some of the recent resentment I’m experiencing at work and some non sequiter comments from the people who made recommendations.

This leads me to question the value of a recruiter contacting people at my current employer.

If I want to get rid of a problem employee and a recruiter calls me looking for dirt… I give them a glowing recommendation. Having a problem employee quit to go to another job is much easier than firing them.

But if I have a stellar employee (and will be unlikely to be able to quickly and cheaply find a replacement), I say as little as possible. Falling back on a line like “our corporate policy is to refer employment verification requests to HR” works well enough that I’m not burning a bridge with a recruiter I may one day use.

I don’t bad mouth them (I do believe in karma), but I will withhold any information that could result in my stellar employee finding it easier to get out… at least until I have a couple of options lined up. Then I’ll help them in any way I can.

How much are “informal” reference checks used by recruiters? How much credence are they afforded? Does anyone take into consideration that the easiest way to retain an employee is to bad-mouth them to recruiters (or the converse, the easiest way to get rid of a problem child is to give them a glowing review)?

I’m Sabotaging My Employees’ Job Searches Through LinkedIn Connections

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6 thoughts on “I’m Sabotaging My Employees’ Job Searches Through LinkedIn Connections

  1. Ak! Surely there is a special place in hell for people like this. Oh wait, there is. It's for.. what's it called… wait… it's coming to me… I think it was mentioned in kindergarten… oh I know! Lying!

    I mean seriously, in what universe is it okay to swindle somebody into taking your bad employees off you? And the only way you can get good employees to stay with you is by not being nice about them? Well, some manager you must be.

    EHRL, please tell me this is not a genuine letter. I mean, please. It's a joke, right?

  2. wow … This is mean! Is hidding the truth a lie or not?
    If you want someone desperately, let him/her go!
    At some point at their careers your best employees will change positions and/or companies. You actually don't prevent them from leaving the company, you just put off the pain and uncertainty.
    Do you remember that quote saying: "Winners never quit!" If your stellar employee is looking for a new position with more responsibilities, with greater benefits and perks, he/she is on the way to achieve his/her goal. It's just a matter of time when (s)he's leaving.

  3. Unbelievable. Just…wow.

    Machiavelli had nothing on you. I hope karma catches up with you someday and gives you s slap upside the head.

    Do you really think your employees don't know what's going on here? I guarantee you that your smart "star" employees do and are probably looking for the door as you typed this question.

    I hope I never end up working for you.

  4. If you can't stand the heat, you shouldn't be in the kitchen. If you have an employee that needs to be fired, then fire them. That is your responsibility as a manager. You are hurting the company by not taking your responsibility seriously. Besides, if their productivity is low, doesn't that affect YOUR productivity as a manager?

    As far as withholding information for your good employees, just remember, there will be a day when the tables will be turned. Either someone will be withholding information about you (if you can be described as stellar), or they will be giving glowing recommendations about you because they don't want to fire you.

    Try ethics for a change.

  5. So let me get this straight…you lie to keep your good employees from benefiting from all their hard work, and you lie to pass off your bad employees on to another job that they don't really deserve! In no way, shape, or form could I ever say that this makes sense, and if this is something you have made yourself believe is okay to do, then you should fire yourself!

  6. I think that I work for this dude!

    I worked for a company that had poor ethics and they do all that they can to prevent employees from finding another job, but treat them like dirt while they are around. They won't even give the 'good' employees recommendations for a raise or promotion. Yet, they keep them trapped…

    What goes around comes around… I bet that you're unemployed right now!

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