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Old 06-06-2018, 07:08 PM
 
14 posts, read 11,186 times
Reputation: 31

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I've found a job I'm very interested in, but was dismayed to find that when applying for the position through their website they are asking for references up front.

This seems very unprofessional to me - I feel strongly that the appropriate time to contact references is after interviews when a company is determining if they want to make and offer. I have never give references up front before - is this a new thing? My references are personal contacts, and I don't feel comfortable just throwing their information out there if a company hasn't even evaluated my qualifications (or let me evaluate theirs). Also, although they may not even contact my references, I would like the first impression be one given by me through my resume and interview rather than an HR conversation with references (my references are good, but it is a backwards way going through the interview process).

I am considering writing 'available upon request' (although I guess this is them requesting them, although IMO inappropriately) or 'I prefer to provide references after my interview' in that space, but I don't want to disqualify myself from the job. I really need a job and this looks like a good one.

Anybody have any experience with this? Any suggestions?

I am very interested in the job, but don't feel like this is appropriate by the employer.
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Old 06-06-2018, 07:38 PM
 
Location: Metro NYC
672 posts, read 706,604 times
Reputation: 726
If this is a recruiter or staffing agency, they want your references to cold call them looking for openings. They likely have NO job for you and will ghost you once they tease your references,
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Old 06-06-2018, 07:44 PM
 
14 posts, read 11,186 times
Reputation: 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by sonetlumiere View Post
If this is a recruiter or staffing agency, they want your references to cold call them looking for openings. They likely have NO job for you and will ghost you once they tease your references,
Good point.

This is with the direct employer though, should have mentioned that.

Is this common practice now? I am really torn on what to do.
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Old 06-06-2018, 09:01 PM
 
35 posts, read 10,392 times
Reputation: 135
Unfortunately this is becoming more common, especially with online applications. Some applications require you to fill out all fields (including their phone numbers and email addresses) in order to process your application. As far as I am aware, if you try to get around it and offer these details at a later date, you are filtered out and disqualified.

I understand how you feel. It is an uncomfortable position to be put in. Business contacts and referees details are precious and it doesn't feel right to be divulging that type of information so early on, but sometimes it is necessary.

At the end of the day, you just have to make a judgement call. Is this a job you really want, and do you trust the company you are sharing the information with? If you have even the smallest doubt, I wouldn't do it.

The joys of modern technology and privacy issues.
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Old 06-06-2018, 09:59 PM
Status: "Disagreeing is not the same thing as trolling." (set 6 days ago)
 
Location: Texas
9,438 posts, read 3,628,914 times
Reputation: 19449
YES it is inappropriate to ask for your references up front. It's also a red flag that this "employer" may be just a staffing agency or recruiter and will call your references to get job leads for their own business purposes. Write down "I have excellent references available upon request".
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Old 06-07-2018, 06:38 AM
 
9,778 posts, read 16,962,550 times
Reputation: 18389
I don't know if i have ever submitted an application that did not ask for references. If you want to work for X company and you are on the X company site filling out an X company application, i would expect there to be a references block. If you move on in the process it is easier for us to have that information up front than to track it down later. No one sits around all day calling hundreds of references out of curiosity.
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Old 06-07-2018, 07:39 AM
 
Location: Western Washington
8,929 posts, read 8,390,690 times
Reputation: 15495
It is incredibly common. I think every job I have applied for over the past 2-3 decades has asked for references as part of the application package.

My current organization does ask for references up front. If you don’t submit them, your application doesn’t get forwarded to the hiring manager. I think HR may reach out and give the applicant a second chance to submit, but I am not sure.
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Old 06-07-2018, 09:35 AM
 
188 posts, read 74,206 times
Reputation: 472
A lot of the applications I've had to fill out on companies' websites have required that references be provided (or they require that you list a supervisor and their phone number for each of your jobs, including your current one). I hate providing that info before I've even gotten to the interview stage, but it's standard so I'd be afraid that not providing it looks bad.

As far as I'm aware, my references were contacted before I was a "finalist" only once. The company called me to schedule an interview with less than 24 hours notice, and the 3:00 time was the only available interview time. I had to decline because I had already had other commitments. Sometime before they called me they sent all of my references a questionnaire to complete. I didn't find out until a few days later when my references started letting me know they'd given me glowing feedback.
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Old 06-07-2018, 09:59 AM
 
2,387 posts, read 683,329 times
Reputation: 3374
If the direct employer is selling any product or service, what is stopping them from using the references as cold-calling resources as well? The staffing firms are not the only ones doing this.

I do not provide references until after an interview, and I'm on the shortlist.

On the job application, I put "will be glad to provide when shortlisted" in the fields asking for references.

My references are busy people and they're doing me a favor. I'm not going to give out their information willy-nilly, and subject them to phone calls at all times.
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Old 06-07-2018, 03:54 PM
 
Location: Planet Telex
4,645 posts, read 2,286,704 times
Reputation: 4371
Quote:
Originally Posted by sonetlumiere View Post
If this is a recruiter or staffing agency, they want your references to cold call them looking for openings. They likely have NO job for you and will ghost you once they tease your references,
Good point. I've also seen companies post anonymously on Craigslist and require three references in addition to a cover letter and resume. This is just incredibly stupid. Sorry, but if I don't know who you are, I'm not giving you a list of references. And I'm sure I'm not the only one passing on applying to you.
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