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Old 09-07-2012, 03:13 PM
 
Location: Houston, TX
312 posts, read 677,492 times
Reputation: 371

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I am under serious consideration for a second interview. The first interview earlier this week went great, the hiring manager likes me, and I passed a skills test just fine. The company seems like an awesome place to work and they seem to be OK with my salary requirements. Company is in financial services and has a reputation for being conservative in culture, but a "work hard/play hard" kind of place.

Today I got an email from an HR person from the potential new company saying she cannot reach two of my references. These are names/phone numbers I have used for the past 2-3 years with no issues. One is no longer with one firm, as may be the case with another. I have no other references as some of the companies I have worked for over the years (about 20 years in the workforce after college) have changed ownership, management, and a couple have even shut down.

Now I am NOT one of those people that stays in touch with former managers after I leave a company. I always try to leave on as positive a note as possible, but once I'm gone, I'm gone. My ultimate goal is to work for myself, but getting clients is another story altogether.

In my experience, the "references" part of the hiring process has always been just a way for the hiring HR to confirm with someone, usually another HR person, at the old company just the most basic of information: confirming my dates of employment and eligibility for rehire - nothing too fancy. This is the first time in at least 10-15 years in MY career that a potential employer's HR person is actually trying to speak directly to former managers that I am aware of.

(BTW, I start another position Monday - a lower paying job in telephone customer service - I used the same reference information, and NO issues whatsoever, didn't even come up, but this position, they are taking almost anyone in from off the street that seems to be halfway screwed on right.)

I replied to the HR lady that I may have to withdraw from consideration if this becomes too insurmountable of an issue - which I am perfectly fine with, I live in Houston which is one of the strongest job markets in the nation right now, I start a new job on Monday so I'll have a fighting chance at making my rent, and something else will come along.

Next time I will state on the application "Please note: Manager no longer with company, discuss employment dates/rehire eligibility with HR" as part of the duties/responsibilities.

Thoughts?
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Old 09-07-2012, 03:28 PM
 
Location: Ayrsley
4,714 posts, read 8,473,392 times
Reputation: 3814
Quote:
Originally Posted by micmac99 View Post
Now I am NOT one of those people that stays in touch with former managers after I leave a company. I always try to leave on as positive a note as possible, but once I'm gone, I'm gone.
This is why it is always so important to maintain those contacts. People move on.

Quote:
Originally Posted by micmac99 View Post
In my experience, the "references" part of the hiring process has always been just a way for the hiring HR to confirm with someone, usually another HR person, at the old company just the most basic of information: confirming my dates of employment and eligibility for rehire - nothing too fancy.
It depends on the company. In my most recent hire, I was able to provide a reference from an old manager (now at a different company) who is now a VP. I also a former manager who is now at a director level as well. Those types of references can never hurt.


Quote:
Originally Posted by micmac99 View Post
Next time I will state on the application "Please note: Manager no longer with company, discuss employment dates/rehire eligibility with HR" as part of the duties/responsibilities.

Thoughts?
Maybe see if you can track these folks down (on LinkedIn maybe). So that way you can actually have their contact info available for next time.
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Old 09-07-2012, 05:47 PM
FBJ
 
Location: Tall Building down by the river
39,611 posts, read 50,267,937 times
Reputation: 9451
Quote:
Originally Posted by micmac99 View Post
I am under serious consideration for a second interview. The first interview earlier this week went great, the hiring manager likes me, and I passed a skills test just fine. The company seems like an awesome place to work and they seem to be OK with my salary requirements. Company is in financial services and has a reputation for being conservative in culture, but a "work hard/play hard" kind of place.

Today I got an email from an HR person from the potential new company saying she cannot reach two of my references. These are names/phone numbers I have used for the past 2-3 years with no issues. One is no longer with one firm, as may be the case with another. I have no other references as some of the companies I have worked for over the years (about 20 years in the workforce after college) have changed ownership, management, and a couple have even shut down.

Now I am NOT one of those people that stays in touch with former managers after I leave a company. I always try to leave on as positive a note as possible, but once I'm gone, I'm gone. My ultimate goal is to work for myself, but getting clients is another story altogether.

In my experience, the "references" part of the hiring process has always been just a way for the hiring HR to confirm with someone, usually another HR person, at the old company just the most basic of information: confirming my dates of employment and eligibility for rehire - nothing too fancy. This is the first time in at least 10-15 years in MY career that a potential employer's HR person is actually trying to speak directly to former managers that I am aware of.

(BTW, I start another position Monday - a lower paying job in telephone customer service - I used the same reference information, and NO issues whatsoever, didn't even come up, but this position, they are taking almost anyone in from off the street that seems to be halfway screwed on right.)

I replied to the HR lady that I may have to withdraw from consideration if this becomes too insurmountable of an issue - which I am perfectly fine with, I live in Houston which is one of the strongest job markets in the nation right now, I start a new job on Monday so I'll have a fighting chance at making my rent, and something else will come along.

Next time I will state on the application "Please note: Manager no longer with company, discuss employment dates/rehire eligibility with HR" as part of the duties/responsibilities.

Thoughts?


You are always supposed to call your references ahead of time so they will know to expect a call from HR. If I have a reference from 2 years ago a lot could have changed so that's why you have to give your references early notice that they should expect to be contacted.
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Old 09-07-2012, 06:13 PM
 
Location: Dallas TX
15,021 posts, read 21,719,486 times
Reputation: 22165
Have you tried to track them down? Checked LinkedIn? Why let a job go for such a simple reason, do what you can to find them or use another reference.
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Old 09-07-2012, 07:07 PM
 
Location: Houston, TX
312 posts, read 677,492 times
Reputation: 371
Quote:
Originally Posted by veuvegirl View Post
Have you tried to track them down? Checked LinkedIn? Why let a job go for such a simple reason, do what you can to find them or use another reference.
I have no other references. If these two former managers are easily findable on LinkedIn, I MIGHT send a note and ask if they mind being contacted about me, but if that becomes too much of a hassle, I have absolutely no problem saying "no longer interested".

In my opinion, this company is doing a LOT already to evaluate my qualifications: before I even interviewed and took a skills test, they wanted a very detailed online assessment which frankly took more time for me to take than the SAT; there was also a personality profile, and I have authorized a criminal AND a credit background check (and I KNOW I will fail the credit check).

I'm really, really beginning to think this specific job is simply NOT worth the hassle that it's starting to become. I do NOT keep up with former managers. A manager is not your "buddy", he is there to make sure the job is done and that the people under him "git r done". That is the ONLY reason the company has placed him/her in that role.

I am not one who feels the need to "keep in touch" that as a way to boost my career. My career is defined by my own skills and talent, and nothing else. My long-term career goals involve eventually going into business for myself, not "climbing the corporate ladder". If you look at some of my previous posts going back a couple of years, I have tried to go it alone before with no success, and there are a lot of reasons to stay in the job market - but just as many reasons to leave the job market and become an entrepreneur full-time. Situations like this really drive me to wanting the latter.

If I won Powerball tomorrow I would never submit another resume or go on another interview AGAIN and I might not wait for Powerball to just say "to heck with all this!!!!" and completely STOP all outside employment and just rely on what clients I can get myself. I am "mid-career", in my early 40s, not some kid just out of college who needs a couple of jobs for a few years to get established. My career also did not make me a rich man, a successful man, or someone with a lot of connections. I have pretty much struggled with everyone else in this economy for 20 years.

THIS **** (this application/resume/interview/references rat race) IS GETTING QUITE OLD.

I'm a little bit of a "maverick" and "lone wolf" when it really counts, and some of the conventional wisdom regarding the workplace, the "do's and dont's" really rubs me the wrong way.

If this company decides to go ahead and hire me, awesome, I will give 110% and stay for as long as the position is challenging, engaging and FUN. I can be a team player - for the right team - for a little while, and if this does work out, I would like it to be my last stop before really hanging out my shingle for good.

But if this does not pan out, trust me, I have other plans for my career. And they involve convincing a client, rather than an employer, that I'm the right guy for the job.
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Old 09-07-2012, 07:12 PM
 
Location: Dallas TX
15,021 posts, read 21,719,486 times
Reputation: 22165
I am really surprised by your response. Most every company checks references. If you aren't going to pursue it, your loss not theirs.
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Old 09-07-2012, 07:14 PM
FBJ
 
Location: Tall Building down by the river
39,611 posts, read 50,267,937 times
Reputation: 9451
Quote:
Originally Posted by micmac99 View Post
I have no other references. If these two former managers are easily findable on LinkedIn, I MIGHT send a note and ask if they mind being contacted about me, but if that becomes too much of a hassle, I have absolutely no problem saying "no longer interested".

In my opinion, this company is doing a LOT already to evaluate my qualifications: before I even interviewed and took a skills test, they wanted a very detailed online assessment which frankly took more time for me to take than the SAT; there was also a personality profile, and I have authorized a criminal AND a credit background check (and I KNOW I will fail the credit check).

I'm really, really beginning to think this specific job is simply NOT worth the hassle that it's starting to become. I do NOT keep up with former managers. A manager is not your "buddy", he is there to make sure the job is done and that the people under him "git r done". That is the ONLY reason the company has placed him/her in that role.

I am not one who feels the need to "keep in touch" that as a way to boost my career. My career is defined by my own skills and talent, and nothing else. My long-term career goals involve eventually going into business for myself, not "climbing the corporate ladder". If you look at some of my previous posts going back a couple of years, I have tried to go it alone before with no success, and there are a lot of reasons to stay in the job market - but just as many reasons to leave the job market and become an entrepreneur full-time. Situations like this really drive me to wanting the latter.

If I won Powerball tomorrow I would never submit another resume or go on another interview AGAIN and I might not wait for Powerball to just say "to heck with all this!!!!" and completely STOP all outside employment and just rely on what clients I can get myself. I am "mid-career", in my early 40s, not some kid just out of college who needs a couple of jobs for a few years to get established. My career also did not make me a rich man, a successful man, or someone with a lot of connections. I have pretty much struggled with everyone else in this economy for 20 years.

THIS **** (this application/resume/interview/references rat race) IS GETTING QUITE OLD.

I'm a little bit of a "maverick" and "lone wolf" when it really counts, and some of the conventional wisdom regarding the workplace, the "do's and dont's" really rubs me the wrong way.

If this company decides to go ahead and hire me, awesome, I will give 110% and stay for as long as the position is challenging, engaging and FUN. I can be a team player - for the right team - for a little while, and if this does work out, I would like it to be my last stop before really hanging out my shingle for good.

But if this does not pan out, trust me, I have other plans for my career. And they involve convincing a client, rather than an employer, that I'm the right guy for the job.


Well atleast you know now you can delete those 2 references and replace them for the future.
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Old 09-07-2012, 07:35 PM
 
Location: Houston, TX
312 posts, read 677,492 times
Reputation: 371
Quote:
Originally Posted by veuvegirl View Post
I am really surprised by your response. Most every company checks references. If you aren't going to pursue it, your loss not theirs.
1. Most companies I have worked for going back at least 15 years have only checked the most basic information as far as I know, that being verification of employment dates and whether or not the candidate is eligible to be re-hired at the same company. There are, as far as I know, serious legal ramifications for providing information that could damage a candidate's chances at getting the job, so most companies that I am aware of are super, super cautious and careful when obtaining information from references (other HR departments) and companies are also cautious about disclosing such information. Companies can be sued and possibly even fined. But that is from my knowledge and experience, correct me if I'm wrong. Procedures may vary across different professions and industries.

2. My feeling is, if this company cannot understand that I have done the best I can on the references and have no others to give, I would indeed not want to pursue it any longer. There are plenty of companies out there that will do a skills test for certain positions, just verify dates of employment and do a criminal background check, and leave it at that as having enough information to tell if someone is capable of doing the work and is a reasonably trustworthy person.

Plus, almost all companies' employment, for 90% of the jobs out there, is "at-will", meaning either side can terminate the employment at any time, for any reason, so frankly I think, again for MOST mid-level jobs out there that normal college graduates take, talking to former managers does absolutely nothing to add to the idea of whether or not a candidate is capable of doing the job, and is an unnecessary step that the business community needs to seriously rethink continuing to do as the years progress. For high profile executive level jobs, that's a different matter and I do see some need for more detail. But this position is basically "support staff" level. In all honesty they can fill the position through a temp agency and be done with it.

I am also very much against companies doing credit checks on candidates for positions that do not involve handling money or having access to customers' private account information. The position I am a candidate for does not.

Can someone tell me what are companies, that conduct a criminal background check and can pull up almost anything on a candidate they need to know via Social Security number, so scared of??????
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Old 09-07-2012, 07:45 PM
FBJ
 
Location: Tall Building down by the river
39,611 posts, read 50,267,937 times
Reputation: 9451
Quote:
Originally Posted by micmac99 View Post
1. Most companies I have worked for going back at least 15 years have only checked the most basic information as far as I know, that being verification of employment dates and whether or not the candidate is eligible to be re-hired at the same company. There are, as far as I know, serious legal ramifications for providing information that could damage a candidate's chances at getting the job, so most companies that I am aware of are super, super cautious and careful when obtaining information from references (other HR departments) and companies are also cautious about disclosing such information. Companies can be sued and possibly even fined. But that is from my knowledge and experience, correct me if I'm wrong. Procedures may vary across different professions and industries.

2. My feeling is, if this company cannot understand that I have done the best I can on the references and have no others to give, I would indeed not want to pursue it any longer. There are plenty of companies out there that will do a skills test for certain positions, just verify dates of employment and do a criminal background check, and leave it at that as having enough information to tell if someone is capable of doing the work and is a reasonably trustworthy person.

Plus, almost all companies' employment, for 90% of the jobs out there, is "at-will", meaning either side can terminate the employment at any time, for any reason, so frankly I think, again for MOST mid-level jobs out there that normal college graduates take, talking to former managers does absolutely nothing to add to the idea of whether or not a candidate is capable of doing the job, and is an unnecessary step that the business community needs to seriously rethink continuing to do as the years progress. For high profile executive level jobs, that's a different matter and I do see some need for more detail. But this position is basically "support staff" level. In all honesty they can fill the position through a temp agency and be done with it.

I am also very much against companies doing credit checks on candidates for positions that do not involve handling money or having access to customers' private account information. The position I am a candidate for does not.

Can someone tell me what are companies, that conduct a criminal background check and can pull up almost anything on a candidate they need to know via Social Security number, so scared of??????


They probably had people in the past steal and they are trying to avoid that type of thing in the future.
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Old 09-07-2012, 07:57 PM
 
Location: Houston, TX
312 posts, read 677,492 times
Reputation: 371
Quote:
Originally Posted by TVandSportsGuy View Post
They probably had people in the past steal and they are trying to avoid that type of thing in the future.
Yeah, but that would come out in any kind of criminal background check, or the HR department would say something to that effect when the other HR department called in. Along with verifying dates, salary, rehire eligibility, they could say "this employee was terminated for theft and criminal charges were filed". Just the plain facts. Not really necessary IMO to even get a manager involved. Some companies I think don't even allow managers to respond to reference requests, they're told to kick it back to HR in all circumstances.

Reference checking is strictly an HR-to-HR matter and should stay that way.
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