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Old 07-15-2013, 03:51 PM
 
Location: Ayrsley
4,714 posts, read 8,475,820 times
Reputation: 3814

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Quote:
Originally Posted by fishbrains View Post
References are for more than background data, and most background info cannot be verified electronically. There is no central database of start:end dates and salaries. There is no database of work responsibilities or accomplishments, nor is there a repository of punctuality, attitude and responsibility.
Quote:
Originally Posted by fishbrains View Post
References will give good and bad reports, and the fear of liability is far overblown.
To be honest, I am always happy to act as a reference for previous co-workers and employees who I thought were good at their jobs when we worked together. Over the years I have had a couple of former employees ask to use me as a reference and, to be honest, since I knew I could not recommend these individuals highly, I simply declined their request to be a reference for them upfront.
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Old 07-15-2013, 04:01 PM
 
Location: St Thomas, US Virgin Islands
24,671 posts, read 58,387,722 times
Reputation: 26532
Quote:
Originally Posted by CollegePalooza View Post
Hello All,

It is still surprising to me that companies requests references as part of the employment process. It seems very old fashioned.
Not old fashioned at all and references will always be required. If your roof needs fixing, if you need a septic tank installed, if you need a home remodeling job done do you just look in the Yellow Pages or whatever, meet with a few contractors and pick the one with the best price and the nicest smile? Of course you don't - if you're smart! You ask them who they've done jobs for, you ask around the 'hood and you exercise due diligence all around to ensure that they're the best person for the job. Exactly the same principle in hiring a new employee ...
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Old 07-15-2013, 04:44 PM
 
7,422 posts, read 13,712,016 times
Reputation: 4944
Quote:
Originally Posted by WestPhillyDude75 View Post
Simple, one person who agreed to be a reference didn't sound like she wanted to so I decided not to use her.

If someone sounds happy to do it then those who I used.
yep, that makes total sense. if you have any choice at all, you should go for people who are very happy to be your references, because that will come through when they're called.

if you don't have people who are happy to be your references, well, unless you've only had one job or have some other unusual circumstances, that's probably your problem.
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Old 07-16-2013, 05:59 AM
 
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
10,511 posts, read 8,758,289 times
Reputation: 12192
One of the reasons companies now go to insane lengths in their interview process is that recommendations have been devalued by the courts. Employers are afraid to say anything negative. Moreover, once you have a visible track record of high performance in your field, your next boss has already made up his mind. The rest of the interview process is so HR and legal can tick off all the boxes to protect themselves.
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Old 07-16-2013, 06:12 AM
 
48,516 posts, read 83,912,172 times
Reputation: 18050
In this day and age of liability for employees actions they are needed more than ever. Reference and vetting can make all the difference when sued for wrong doing by a employee.
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Old 07-16-2013, 07:44 AM
 
Location: Chicago area
8,797 posts, read 13,284,781 times
Reputation: 15937
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tober138 View Post
Over the years I have had a couple of former employees ask to use me as a reference and, to be honest, since I knew I could not recommend these individuals highly, I simply declined their request to be a reference for them upfront.
That is the classy thing to do. That is why I am always skeptical of bad references. It takes a real tool to secretly sabatoge someone behind their back and hurt their ability to support themselves and their family. In my experience bad references are more often about the person giving the reference than the person it is about.

I mentioned in an earlier post that one of my classmates from grad school contacted me after a string of interview failures. She had hired a reference service to check her references and found out that the Professor has been saying just awful things about her to potential employers despite her leaving on good terms. I had him checked as well and while he wasn't as bad he wasn't all that nice about me either. In cases like this I think reference should be held civilly liable and companies should not automatically beleive bad information about a candidate because more often than not the referer is a sociopath if he/she is doing the above.
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